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.