In a classic case of the show going on, retired Royal Ballet Principal Jonathan Cope got back into his tights to save the Company’s opening night on its first ever visit to Cuba.

The 40-something Cope stood in for an injured Rupert Pennefather on Tuesday in Frederick Ashton’s A Month In The Country. Cope had been coaching Pennefather in the role which he had danced several times during his career until his retirement from The Royal Ballet in 2006. He has since worked as a repetiteur with the Company.

Monica Mason, Director of The Royal Ballet, said: “Jonathan was thrilled to be asked to step in at the last minute. He epitomises the spirit of The Royal Ballet and on such an historic night for the Company – our first performance in Cuba – was the perfect person to be up there on stage with us”.