Preview | Romeo and Juliet - About


This film adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece takes legendary Royal Ballet choreographer Kenneth MacMillan’s 1965 audience favorite out of the theater and into the streets of a cinematic Verona, offering a passionate reimagining of this timeless love story. A film by the BalletBoyz, the award-winning team of Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, this romantic classic is vividly recreated on atmospheric studio sets in Budapest, combining inventive cinematography and dynamic choreography. Set to Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s original score performed by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the film features the internationally acclaimed current generation of stars from The Royal Ballet including Francesca Hayward as Juliet (who recently appeared as Victoria in the feature film “Cats”), William Bracewell as Romeo and Matthew Ball as Tybalt. Great Performances: Romeo and Juliet premieres nationwide Friday, September 11 at 9 p.m. on PBS, and the PBS Video app.

 Notable Talent

  • William Bracewell, stars as Romeo, first soloist of The Royal Ballet
  • Francesca Hayward, stars as Juliet, principal dancer of The Royal Ballet and recently appeared as Victoria in the feature film “Cats”
  • Matthew Ball, stars as Tybalt, principal dancer of The Royal Ballet
  • Kenneth MacMillan, original choreographer, director of The Royal Ballet 1970-1977 and principal choreographer 1977-1992 and choreographer of “Gloria,” “Manon,” “Mayerling,” “Requiem” and more
  • Sergei Prokofiev, original score, revered 20th century ballet, opera and film composer
  • Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, director and director of photography, Emmy Award-winning artistic directors of BalletBoyz and former dancers of The Royal Ballet
  • David Horn, executive producer of Great Performances

 Noteworthy Facts

  • The score is a 90-minute abridged version of Sergei Prokofiev’s original score from 1938 and is unique to the film.
  • 2016’s Great Performances: Young Men, commemorating the centennial of World War I, was also produced by BalletBoyz.

 Short TV Listing

Experience a film of choreographer Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet with dancers from The Royal Ballet.

 Long TV Listing

Experience Shakespeare’s classic as a ballet from choreographer Kenneth MacMillan performed by dancers from The Royal Ballet set to a score by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev and filmed on atmospheric studio sets in Budapest.

Series Overview

Throughout its more than 40-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details). The series is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET.

Production Credits

A film by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, Great Performances: Romeo and Juliet is a Footwork Films production for the BBC in association with THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Great Performances is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

Major funding for Great Performances: Romeo and Juliet is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Irene Diamond Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, the Lewis “Sonny” Turner Fund for Dance, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Seton J. Melvin, and The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation.
Websites:,, @GPerfPBS, #GreatPerformancesPBS

Transcript Print

Everyone knows the timeless love story of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet.'

But you'll feel it like never before in this brilliant ballet film set to Prokofiev's sublime music.

Featuring Francesca Hayward, William Bracewell, and other Royal Ballet dancers.

Fall in love all over again with the world's best-loved young couple.

When 'Romeo and Juliet' dances its way into 'Great Performances.'