Cathy Marston has arrived. Actually, the British choreographer has been doing exciting work for decades now, but the Royal Ballet has finally given her a main stage commission, which is another way of punching her members’ card. Marston’s new ballet follows in the steps of a string of ambitious narrative productions for the likes of Bern Ballett and Northern Ballet, from “Wuthering Heights” to “Jane Eyre” to “Victoria.” Her passion (and gift) for dramatising left-field subjects hits a high note here: the focus is Jacqueline du Pré, a prodigious British cellist whose talent sadly dissolved in the clutch of multiple sclerosis. Marston has transcribed Du Pré’s biography with admirable compassion, celebrating her story without exploiting the tragedy that makes it dramatic.
Marcelino Sambé and Lauren Cuthbertson in Cathy Marston's “The Cellist.” Photograph by Bill Cooper