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Hansel Und Gretel, Glyndebourne, various dates until November 29
French Director Laurent Pelly first brought the opera adaptation of Hansel And Gretel to Glyndebourne in 2008.
Revived in 2010, its third incarnation represents a return by popular demand for Belgian creator Barbara de Limburg’s twirling mechanical set.
Across two halves which zip past quicker than a battleaxe on a broomstick, this bold, clever and playful performance offers a masterful take on a classic fairytale.
De Limburg’s designs are dramatic eye candy – the woodland where cuckoos warn the wide-eyed wanderers of danger is stunning, bleak and barren, and the sugar-filled supermarket which lures them in is a tower block of cartons, boxes and, ultimately, knives and cages.
The witch may be a drag queen in a dazzling pink outfit but Colin Judson as the haggish baddie brings an instant, lingering evil to proceedings.
With bare cleavage, sandals and a beergut, his menacing cackler clambers sweets, then topples into the ether before his prison ex-plodes and confetti shoots from the chimney.
Conductor Ilyich Rivas, 20, waves the icing on the kaleidoscopic cake, energetically orchestrating a score which matches this production’s perfect pitch.
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