There are certain roles you yearn to play as a performer.
For Edinburgh’s Daniel Davidson, it has been his dream for the best part of a decade to play the cheeky Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet.
This is the 29-year-old’s third stint in Scottish Ballet’s tour of Romeo and Juliet, but it will be the first time he has stepped into the shoes of his favourite character following an eight-year wait, as the final series of performances kick off in the capital tonight.
His love of ballet started at a young age, as the dancer explains: “My parents took me to drama school when I was four but I wasn’t burning enough energy there so I would come home and still not be tired.
“So they took me to ballet lessons in a church around the corner from where we lived in Fairmilehead.
“I have never looked back, I loved it.”
Daniel trained at The Dance School of Scotland and then studied musical theatre in London.
He joined Scottish Ballet eight years ago, and was instantly drawn to the character of Mercutio during the company's first production of Romeo and Juliet.
He said: “The good thing about this ballet is that it is quite contemporary, that’s what attracted to me this company in the first place.
“We all learn two or three parts for every show, and I got the chance to learn Mercutio.
“I was not long at the company and I was desperate to dance Mercutio so I learned it that year, but didn’t get to play it.
“In the second tour, I got injured just before the tour so I didn’t dance anything in the end, so this year was finally my chance.
“Mercutio is definitely a career highlight, especially because I have been waiting so long to do it.”
Romeo and Juliet was created for Scottish Ballet by Polish choreographer Krzysztof Pastor in 2008 and is now being toured for the third time by the company, under the guidance of Scottish Ballet’s Artistic Director Christopher Hampson.
The story of forbidden love starts in the 1920s in the aftermath of the First World War in Italy, then moves to the 1950s during Mussolini’s dictatorship and then to the 1990s and the rising dominance of 24/7 TV news.
“It is quite a modern take on Romeo and Juliet. Krzysztof has used time and generations to emphasise the point of war and how fighting with one another isn’t good," Daniel said.
“I like that the characters have really been thought about through the movement. A lot of Juliet’s movements show teenage angst.
“Mercutio is the comic relief of the ballet, he is cheeky and all of his movements reflect that.
“The Tybalt family’s movement is all very strict and regimented and very army-like so I think he has captured the essence of the story really well through that.
Romeo and Juliet will be at The Festival Theatre between May 21 and May 24.