Romanoff and Juliet

Definition

Theater

  • A comedy by Peter Ustinov that updates the story ofRomeo and Juliet to a Cold War setting. Often consideredhis best play, it was first performed in London in 1956 at the PiccadillyTheatre, with Ustinov himself playing the General. The British criticCaryl Brahms wrote, "Never can so many twitches, squeaks, skips,hops, winks, blinks, nods and finger flutterings have afflicted oneand the same elder statesman, poor gentleman." The play ranfor a year, winning the Evening Standard Award for Best NewPlay, before opening on Broadway in 1957. It subsequently toured Americaand was made into a film.

    The story, set in the tiny mid-European country of Concordia, centreson the love between Igor Romanoff, the son of the Soviet ambassador, and JulietMoulsworth, the daughter of the US ambassador. Trouble brews when the betrotheds of both Igor and Juliet arrive on the scene. The country's leader, the General, worries that this inconvenient love affair will ruin Concordia's standing in both the communist and capitalist worlds. However, he eventually helps to unite both Romanoff and Juliet and the two discarded fiancés as well.

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