Revellers were immersed in the raw and real world of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Outside the Capulet Ball, as guests showed their tickets, they were secretly marked as either members of the House of Capulet or Montague.
Rogue packs of Montagues prowled outside the queue. Fights broke out (‘Do you bite your thumb at me sir?’) between territorial Capulets and the Montague chancers.
Those guests that the security guards recognised as Montagues were thrown out at the main entrance but then puled into a disused building where other Montagues – Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio, were debating how to gate crash the ball. After downing vials in solidarity and donning carnival masks, guests snuck past the bouncers, up the fire escape and through the industrial kitchens and backstage, until they emerged victorious into the party.
Passing through the main entrance, the ill divining soul of the play manifested through the apothecary women, handing out vials of poison (potent cocktails from Hendrick’s Gin), whispering premonitions of the deathly fate of the lovers.
Inside the Ball a gaggle of Capulet drag queen beauties welcomed guests, all sequins and squeals. Then came Opera soloists, spectacle fire performances, a gypsy band flown over from Puglia, Italy, aerial trapeze. Fights broke out as Tibalt spotted Romeo in the party, a testosterone fuelled face off ensued, with guns and breakdancing that eventually chased the Montagues out of the party. “Young hearts run free” sounded to the rafters, with confetti canons covering guests in silver and a host of international DJs then played into the early hours, finished off with the finale from the Animal Swing Kids of Berlin.