There is a majesty to Claudio Macor’s writing and with his play Margot this is so recognisable and stands him apart from his contemporaries. He has a poetic touch that director Robert McWhir totally understands and through a superb cast of Abigail Moore as Margot Fonteyn, Fanos Xenofos as her brutish husband Tito, a mesmerising Louis van Leer as Alexandro and Oliver Kaderbhai playing the joint roles of Carlos and Sir Ian Henderson, the scene is set for a story that could of come out of any espionage outing offered by John Le Carre or Ian Fleming.
The year is 1956 and Margot Fonteyn, then the most famous ballerina in the world, is married to Panamanian Tito, whose ancestors have been presidents of Panama and he has a lust to be the same – making Fonteyn his first lady with echoes of Evita shimmering in the background. After visiting Cuba to secure arms he stages a coup that turns into a complete farce and Fonteyn finds herself embroiled in a situation where she is clearly in over her head. Her ageing body and frail disposition – and her controlling mother – means she has to dance when others would of normally retired just to pay the bills.
This is a story beautifully told and in between scenes Louis van Leer graces the stage with a balletic selection that adds rhythm and pace to the story performed with a sophistication and elegance that is perfect as a plot enhancing device.
This is also a story of loving a man without question, being totally committed to the relationship even though he could destroy you. Macor also blends seamlessly into the story the power of celebrity with some precise comic moments that once again epitomised the time period. Impeccable theatre.
Photos by PND Photography and Peter Davies