5 things you need to know about Romeo and Juliet

Published on Wednesday 25 February, 2015

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As we get ready to open Les Ballets de Monte Carlo's Romeo and Juliet at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh this week, here are a few things you need to know about the history of this iconic story...

1. There have been more than 27 opera, 40 screen and 80 choreographic versions of Romeo and Juliet including the Baz Luhrmann film starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio.

2. Shakespeare's original play uses 25,948 words (as an aside Shakespeare's works have been translated into 80 languages including Klingon!).

3. Prokofiev's ballet premièred in 1940, 5 years after it was composed. This was because of controversy surrounding Piotrovsky (who wrote the synopsis) wanting to give the story a happy ending...

4. The Prokofiev music is one of the most well known ballet scores - it has become part of popular culture as the theme tune for The Apprentice.

5. Jean-Christophe Maillot choreographed his Romeo and Juliet in 1996 (the same years as Luhrmann's film was released). The ballet has been performed all over the world but this will be the first UK performance, and the first time a UK Company has performed any of Maillot's work.