The centenary of the end of the First World War has been marked widely in dance. Now, the Royal Ballet present their tribute within this latest triple bill, headlined by Alastair Marriot’s new work The Unknown Soldier.
It tells the real life story of wartime sweethearts Florence Billington and Ted Feltham, who, after a whirlwind romance, promise they will get engaged to each other once he returns from war – but of course he never does. It’s a devastating tale, told by a now elderly Billington, who is projected onto the main stage to tell the tale, but it makes Marriot’s work too disjointed and the dance near redundant.
Nor do we explore beyond the bare bones of the story. Billington (danced with wonderful purity by Yasmin Naghdi) and Feltham (Matthew Ball) fall in love in the opening moments. Their story is true, but we are given no background and feel little investment in them. The war scenes all feel predictable too: men stumble haphazardly with guns and Feltham’s death is clumsily conveyed, as we only see him carried away on the shoulder of his fellow soldier.
Read my full review of BroadwayWorld.com