Preview: Wallflowering, Playhouse, Sevenoaks
Pas de deux is strictly ballroom
Monday 03 October 2005
But this is a first time for Cooper - who played the adult Billy in the film Billy Elliot - to perform in a play. Cast in Peta Murray's comedy, Wallflowering, Cooper and Wildor play a suburban Australian couple - Cliff and Peg - who love to ballroom dance, but as their marriage begins to fall apart, they find it difficult to keep in step with each other.
How challenging is that? "I've been in musicals - On Your Toes and Singin' in the Rain - and I'm used to dialogue," says Cooper. "Although there are small sections of ballroom dancing in the play, I do not have dancing to fall back on and it is just the two of us on stage."
Cooperwent to the Royal Ballet School at 16 and joined the Royal Ballet in 1989. He was rapidly promoted to principal dancer - partnering Darcey Bussell and Sylvie Guillem along the way.
Cooper remembers first seeing his future wife at the Royal Ballet School. "She was in the year below," he says. "I spotted her there." They first danced together when at the Royal Ballet Company. "They never put us together as a partnership for about seven years - even though we were a real-life couple - until I played Husband in The Invitation and I raped her," he recalls. They married in real-life in 2000.
How does he find working with his partner? "It's rare that we perform together," he says. "But when we do, it's great."
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