The 1936 musical comedy is set in the ballet world, where a jealous male dancer hires a gangster to indispose the leading man so that he can take his place for the opening night performance. It was last professionally produced in the London in 1984 at the West End's Palace Theatre, starring Natalie Makarova and Tim Flavin. On Your Toes features songs such as "There's a Small Hotel" as well as the famous ballet sequence "Slaughter on 10th Avenue".
A former principal with the Royal Ballet, Cooper rose to popular prominence as the lead Swan in Matthew Bourne's male Swan Lake for Adventures in Motion Pictures, which won him the Time Out and Evening Standard Awards for Best Dance Performance. His other credits include Cinderella for AMP and Elegy For Two' for Images of Dance. On film, and he appeared briefly as the adult Billy - again playing the Swan - in the award-winning 2000 hit Billy Elliot.
This production of On Your Toes was first seen in May 2002 in Leicester where the 20-strong cast also feature Kathryn Evans, Linzi Hateley, Greg Pichery, Matthew Malthouse, Simon Coulthard, Marguerite Porter, Russell Dixon and Irek Mukhamedov. Though Cooper is confirmed for the transfer, further London casting has not yet been confirmed.
On Your Toes is be directed by Leicester Haymarket artistic director Paul Kerryson and designed by Paul Farnsworth, whose most recent production at the Festival Hall was last year's revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies, also produced by impresario Raymond Gubbay. The production has musical arrangements and direction by Julian Kelly.
- by Terri Paddock