A month that sees the beginning of panto season, Privates on Parade at the Rep and The Trocks at the Hippodrome, suggests that camp kitsch is the order of the day for November in Birmingham.
Which is fine, when done well and done creatively at which the Trocks proved themselves expert.
They have been presenting their own comic form of ballet en travesti for over 30 years, and it shows. It’s a slick, accomplished and enjoyable performance from the all-male drag troupe, who pull off the whole camp Royal Variety showbiz of it all whilst being genuinely outstanding dancers.
It’s a traditional show on paper, with Don Quixote Pas de Deux, Le Grand Pas de Quatre and Paquita all following the jewel in The Trocks’ particularly spangly crown – Swan Lake (Act II). The entry of Odette (Rafaelle Morra) was a sign of things to come – faultlessly graceful, beautifully preened and technically perfect, but with an incongruously hairy chest bristling out from the top of the tutu.
Men in dresses have been (apparently) amusing since Aristophanes. The Trocks run the risk of dragging out (excuse the pun) what is basically just one hackneyed joke through two hours of classical ballet programme. Fortunately, they are a class act, and the joke doesn’t wear too thin. Simply for their world class, exuberant dancing skill they are a sight to behold.