Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for this revival of Kenneth MacMillan’s dark ballet, now playing at the Royal Opera House.
The Guardian: *** “If the lack of chemistry between the two leads was disappointing, the production as a whole is splendid. Nicholas Georgiadis’s brooding designs perfectly convey the claustrophobia and stifling protocol of the Austrian court, the orchestra under Koen Kessels give a plangent account of the Liszt score, and the company act up a storm.”
The Independent: **** “Ryoichi Hirano, stepping in for the injured Edward Watson, is too wholesome for MacMillan’s damaged hero, but the company performance is rich and powerful, with a magnificent Mary from Natalia Osipova.”
A Younger Theatre: “this revival sees fantastic dancers taking on new roles, and some of the company’s finest proving once more what they are made of. Although the narrative is muddled with too many characters and a rather complicated plot, it is easy to see why this ballet has endured so much as a showcase piece for the whole company and as a vehicle for its lead.”
The Telegraph: **** “Hirano got better, relaxing into the part, pacing Rudolf’s disintegration intelligently, and ultimately delivering a character as pitiable as he is repugnant, which is exactly as it should be.”
Time Out: *** “Forty years since its creation, its savage choreography still has the power to shock, as it charts the grubby (true) tale of Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria-Hungary, his mental disintegration and his descent into a crazed death pact with his teenage mistress, Mary Vetsera.”
Evening Standard: **** “though Mayerling is one of the few ballets to put a man at its centre, the evening belonged to its five extraordinary ballerinas, notably Natalia Osipova, wonderfully demented as Mary Vetsera.”
The Times: *** “What draws audiences, decade after decade, isn’t the story — it’s the fantastic series of pas de deux.”