The Evil Imp


The press flacks at the English National Ballet (ENB) will be wishing they didn’t have to get out of bed this morning after they found out a group of ‘anti-fascists’ will be picketing the London Coliseum in protest at principal dancer Simone Clarke’s membership of the BNP.

At present the best they can come up with for this PR nightmare with no end is that it is “not within the company’s mandate to express any political view”, so that’s all sorted out then!

What the ENB does from here is not clear since this is pretty much unprecedented in modern ballet history. If they keep quiet it might go away all on its own but some ‘balletomanes’ are stating that they will stay away from any performance Ms Clarke is a part of for the foreseeable future. Even if she quits her membership of the BNP it’s doubtful the masses will forgive her for this particularly egregious political faux pas.

I’ve already stated in these pages that sacking Ms Clarke is not an option because she’s not doing anything illegal. Contrary to what the protesters are saying Ms Clarke hasn’t publicly advocated support for the BNP, she only defended her actions after the Guardian outed her membership. In fact, the sum total of Ms Clarke’s support for the BNP is paying a membership fee of £25.

All we can do is sit back and watch the real life theatre unfold before our eyes and pick up the pieces when the battle is done.

Ironically the piece Ms Clarke is appearing in is ‘Giselle’ as the lead character. The end of the ballet results in Giselle’s death after she is driven mad by the deception of her true love!

Slipping the press dept. at ENB some Ativan might be a good idea at this juncture.

[ The Guardian’s Latest on Simone Clarke]