The Big Ballet
The Big Ballet bills itself as a comedy ballet of weighty elegance.
To put no finer point on it, the evening explores the dance possibilities of the fat female form. You have to be at least 110 kilos even to get an audition.
At first, you think it will be a bit like that Dawn French ballet sketch, with dancers attempting moves and giving up to eat cream cakes instead. But although the aim is definitely humorous, the steps are serious -- and all the more so since they are used as the vehicle for some pretty sophisticated visual gags.
Part one presented us with Hens, Pens and Swans, a comedy take on Swan Lake, in which an ungainly red Hen finds her kingdom deserting her in favour of an elegant swan. Full of clowning and clever little character gestures, this was pure pantomime.
Part two was a medley encompassing everything from Harem scenes to Gypsy dances. Definitely not for anybody with politically correct hang ups: the action centred chiefly around large women seducing very thin men whilst wearing spangly costumes of varying degrees of brief.
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A no holds barred, hoot of a night out. Big can be beautiful too.