The Enchanted Pig, a Young Vic and Opera Group co-production, is without doubt an enchanting show.
With the nearby Old Vic's popular pantomime missing a year it is good to have the Young Vic open again and staging a Christmas production in its own tradition and easily up to its usual standard.
The energenic and dextorous cast of eight tell a story based on a Romanian folk tale of lucky and unlucky princesses. The words are by Alasdair Middleton and the music is by Jonathan Dove who wrote opera Tobias and the Angel which relaunched the theatre earlier this year.
Rodney Clarke, who appeared in Tobias and the Angel, plays the difficult lead role of the Pig. Princess Flora, the one drawing the short straw but of course triumphing in the end, is played charmingly by Caryl Hughes who has appeared at the Purcell Room.
Delroy Atkinson and Akiya Henry as Sun and Day made the audience gasp. A double act by veterans John Rawnsley and Nuala Willis as Mr and Mrs North Wind is another well-received humerous highlight. Kate Chapman also raised laughs with her spoilt bride performance.
The importance of the set is often forgotten and here Nick Bird has devised one which is of course simple but very clever and effective.
There are good tunes, flying, loud noise, glitter, mud and several other pantomime stunts. This is not a show for very young children but it is still a family opera perfect for the theatre's intimate space.