The royal ballet

What lessons are there from the tragic death of Liam Scarlett?

The death of Liam Scarlett was confirmed in a brief message from his family on 17 April. On the previous day, the Royal Danish Theatre had announced the withdrawal of the 35 year-old English choreographer’s Frankenstein from their coming season due to allegations of inappropriate behaviour dating back to 2018/19. It was the last of many such cancellations that had constituted Scarlett’s annus horribilis following the termination of his position as artist-in-residence at The Royal Ballet in March 2020. John Macfarlane was Scarlett’s designer on Frankenstein and many other ballets and when I interviewed him just a few weeks’ ago, Macfarlane expressed the hope that these upcoming Copenhagen performances of