Ballet review - Hobson’s Choice, Birmingham Hippodrome

After more than 20 years this delightful rom-com ballet still has the power to delight, and is on track to become a true classic in the footsteps of its inspiration: David Lean’s 1954 movie of the play starring Charles Laughton and John Mills.

Hobson’s Choice

Hobson’s Choice

Birmingham Hippodrome

Review by Simon Penfold

After more than 20 years this delightful rom-com ballet still has the power to delight, and is on track to become a true classic in the footsteps of its inspiration: David Lean’s 1954 movie of the play starring Charles Laughton and John Mills.

This tale of a strong-willed daughter and her timid bootmaker, turning the tables on an alcoholic father, has a wonderful sense of place and time.

But it is the characters that come to the fore in David Bintley’s production, particular Maggie and Will Mossop as our heroine and hero, Elisha Willis and Robert Parker.

As Maggie sets her cap at the bootmaker, he is her escape route from the controlling Hobson, but there is also love, captured in their initially awkward duets. By the end, their harmony in movement makes it clear this is a love match to last.

The only jarring note is David Morse’s Henry Hobson. Was it necessary to bulk him, as if to mimic Charles Laughton?

But it doesn’t detract from a terrific, feel-good production that sends you out with a smile on your face. The ballet continues until Saturday.