I’ve always felt uncomfortably ambivalent about the work of Matthew Bourne. Of course, there is no disputing its infectious exuberance or its enormous appeal to a broad public beyond the ballet club. I suppose its eclectic mix of Ashton and MacMillan, camp jokiness, Hollywood movies and Broadway razzmatazz is quirkily unique too – at least sui generis, inasmuch as nobody seems to imitate it with his degree of commercial success. And Bourne’s house designer Lez Brotherston always gets it just right: the shows invariably look great.
Yet there’s also a relentless brashness to them, an absence of psychological nuance and aesthetic restraint. I take a deep breath and try to go with its flow; I end up winded and exhausted.