Cross dressing, silly costumes, and even dafter slapstick – is this another Theatre Royal pantomime? Oh no it is isn’t! It’s The Russian State Ballet of Siberia’s take on one of the oldest established ballets.
Translating as The Wayward Daughter, the story sees a young girl and farmer fall in love, frustrating her widowed mother’s plans to marry her into money – although the posh potential beau doesn’t seem all that keen either).
This is a generally young cast, and the principals (Elena Svinko and Dmitry Dyachkov) put in respectable performances, although both made occasional missteps. The corps too were variable, with a handful of awkward descents and synchronicity glitches.
Alexei Balva as Widow Simone is the runaway success, in full panto dame mode and generating laughs rivalled only by Denis Pogorely as the hideously haired and decidedly odd wealthy suitor.
The original story is said to be inspired by Rousseaun ideas of romance versus riches, but it’s probably his maxim about thinking nobly and earning a living that comes more to mind here. This is workman-like fun, nothing more, nothing less.