Reverence: London's Sweetheart

Lauren Cuthbertson’s unaffected charm captivates audiences at The Royal Ballet.
Published in the August/September 2012 issue.

An English rose in bloom: Cuthbertson as Juliet. Photo by Bill Cooper.

What do you enjoy more, performing or rehearsing?
Definitely performing. Sometimes I walk into the studio and say, “Can we just run it all?” I’ll do a whole act like a show.

Do you have any lucky charms?
I have a little doll with dangly legs that my Russian teacher gave me, a set of rosary beads from my grandma  and a Japanese doll Monica Mason gave me for my first show back after I was ill with chronic fatigue syndrome.

You pick a perfume for every role. Which one did you choose for the lead in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

I was given Vivienne Westwood’s “Naughty Alice” and “Cheeky Alice” as gifts, but the one I actually wear for the show is Annick Goutal’s “Petite Chérie.” It has rose and grass in it, and it’s just perfect because it makes me feel like Alice has been rolling in the grass and playing in the rose bushes with the gardener.

Who is your toughest critic?
Probably Clement Crisp from the Financial Times. He just hates me, full stop. He used to not mention me at all, and he once described me as doing one ballet like a dutiful tour guide, which actually I found hysterical!

Do you have a specialty in the kitchen?
You name it and I’m there. I’ve probably been able to do a roast dinner since I was 12.

What skill would you most like to have?
I want to learn to drive, but that’s not really a skill, is it? I suppose I could start with that and build up to taking over the world!