What a fabulous romp through silliness, dripiness and pure unadulterated camp. All the well known bawdy tunes galloping along in an endless volley that will keep you smiling and at times just laughing outloud. This is a splendid production of fantasy which matches the story of a make believe Grande Duchy. All the dust and cobwebs are there together with the miss match, tumbledown sets. The cast are excellent and obviously enjoyed every minute of the performance. The curtain opens towards the end of the colourful overture to show what appear to be dead and wounded soldiers on a barren battlefield with one staggering towards the front of the stage clutching his chest through his tunic only to reveal a bottle of wine which he opens with a "pop" to which all others jump up........He is only drunk and so are the rest. You are into the madnes and need I say more?
The Duchess herself is portrayed by the magnificent Felicity Lott who holds centre stage throughout with a swagger and lilt of boredom with her tiresome position as head of the nation, excellently sung. All of the characters are little gems in their own right. Full marks to Pelly for a well thought out and lively production. The orchestra under Minkowski also have a jolly good romp. Plenty of Offenbachs catchy and infectious music is given with a ballet interlude as well. I would recommend this production to anyone and am sure, like me, it will become one of your favourite DVD's to pass away cold winter evenings. PS. Look for the potatoes! You will be as mystified as me!