Premiere: 15th March, Barbican, London (then a UK tour). Created for Ballet Black. German Premiere 28th May 2022
Choreography: Cathy Marston
Scenario: Cathy Marston and Edward Kemp
Music: Philip Feeney’s arrangement of Kronos Quartet pieces
Design: Jane Heather
Light: David Plater
Length: 36 mins
Cast: 7 dancers (expandable)
Insight into the creation/rehearsal process:
"Marston’s talent for melding movement, character and action, trimmed of excess, is brilliantly distilled here: the story unfolds without you having to think about it; Marston makes the dancing of daily tasks (washing your face, going to work) naturalistic and uncliched; and her chorus of dancers around the central couple create texture to the choreography that is unobtrusive but essential. Then there is the way she – and the excellent leads Cira Robinson and José Alves – pull your sympathy in two directions. It’s a rich, tragic and masterful work."
"The piece that winds up stealing the show….it leaves this superlative serving of dance-theatre looking like a pungent cautionary tale about both the corrosive effects of infidelity and the dangers of not forgiving it."
"Darkly dramatic, economically staged and emotionally intense...already an award-winner and rightly so."
"***** Cathy Marston’s taut new ballet The Suit shows tragedy bursting out of the seams of everyday life...Marston’s duets are richly characterised. After a fond goodbye to Philemon, Cira Robinson’s Matilda stretches in sensuous anticipation of her lover’s arrival. Undressing Mthuthuzeli November, she stretches out a long leg to nudge down his trousers, every movement slow and heated."
"**** Cathy Marston’s The Suit masterfully transposes its source (a short story by Can Themba) from words into dance...the work is consummately crafted, and achieves its effects with an astonishing economy of means."
"It’s a performance with a tiny cast and huge impact…Marston’s dance evokes not just the central relationship but the community around it…Using recorded music by Kronos Quartet, Marston creates a dance hall scene overflowing with detail, with joyful social dancing centre stage and a tense psychodrama being played out at the sides…The Suit is the best work I’ve seen by Marston."
"**** The Suit, with its simple story and big emotions, is tailor-made for choreographic treatment and makes superb use of Ballet Black’s lithe and expressive dancers. The central love triangle is powerfully written and played by Cira Robinson, José Alves and Mthuthuzeli November but Marston also finds ingenious uses for the rest of the ensemble (all four of them) who echo and mirror the main trio and engineer the rapid changes of scene like the invisible kuroko in a kabuki drama."
The Financial Times