Ballet to put a smile on your face

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The Big Ballet - Blackpool Grand Theatre

IF you are a lover of ballet but put off by the sight of prominent ribs and jutting collar bones, this is the show for you.

The Big Ballet is the perfect excuse to wedge yourself into your seat and dig into the Malteasers without a shred of weight related guilt.

The dancers are certainly larger than life (every one weighs more than 100kg) but there is no doubt skill and stamina is required for the show they perform.

The first half is a tongue in cheek tribute to Swan Lake which had the Grand’s audience shrieking with laughter. But although the sight of super sized curves and heaving bosoms was comical, there was also an element of surprising grace.

The dancers played heavily for laughs with saucy gestures and slapstick tumbles. At one stage a dancer sat at the front and started eating a chocolate bar which added to the anti skinny message.

The second half had a more contemporary feel.

In came five male, barely clothed, Russian 20-somethings called “Fighting Club” with washboard stomachs and a love of impossibly cheesy euro-pop.

As they gyrated in ripped denim, leather pants and even tiny sequinned underpants, the Big Ballet heroines bared all in belly dance tassels, bondage style bra and knickers and some very camp sailor costumes.

The Big Ballet occasionally felt a little bit Eurovision Song Contest, but the audience lapped it up laughing and clapping along. It was definitely ballet as you’ve never seen it before and undeniably cheerful.