by Adele Geras
Hester Fielding was once the leading ballerina of her day - from the early fifties to the mid sixties no one could touch her. Her life is the stuff ... Show synopsis Hester Fielding was once the leading ballerina of her day - from the early fifties to the mid sixties no one could touch her. Her life is the stuff of drama: a bleak Yorkshire childhood transformed by the discovery of her amazing gifts as a dancer; a dangerous love affair that can only lead to heartbreak; and a secret that would topple her from her pinnacle of fame if it ever came out. Now Hester has returned to Yorkshire, to Wychwood where, each year at Christmas, a ballet is performed on Twelfth Night in the little theatre in Wychwood's grounds. This year, the brilliant young choreographer Hugo Carradine has been invited to direct the ballet Sarabande. Hugo has assembled a starry and temperamental group of dancers to work with him. Claudia Drake is Hugo's lover and the ballet's star - every inch a prima ballerina in style, but is she just a little past her best? Snapping at her satin-clad heels is Silver McConnell, ten years younger and an outstanding talent, some say the next Hester Fielding. Then there's Nick Neary, gorgeous, bi-sexual and altogether too free with his favours. Observing them all is Claudia's teenage daughter Alison, who's sick to death of dancers and would rather be anywhere but here. Just before the company descends on Wychwood to start rehearsals, Hester receives a phone call that brings back memories that haunt her. As the dancers prepare for the opening night of Sarabande, and loyalties shift and tempers flare and tension builds to breaking point, suddenly the past comes crashing into the present in ways that Hester could never have predicted.