Press night for Carmen fell on Pancake Day, which as the show panned out, felt all too apt.
The evening opens at an atmospheric cigarette factory, and we are drawn into the familiar scene of lusty lads and sassy senioritas engaging in playful to and fro. The pace settled into a pattern of spirited chorus numbers, tossing the mood up with light humour and spicy choreography, contrasted by slightly hollow central character scenes.
The real highs of the evening were a pin-drop solo from Javier and a wonderfully silly skit of French officers that almost had shades of Blackadder to it.
Carmen was sadly more stage school than sexy seductress and although Captain Velarde could carry a tune, the lovers were too earnest to be convincing.
As ever, my Shrove Tuesday was a night full of history and tradition, punctuated with flamboyant displays but ultimately defined by a fairly flat and bland centre piece.