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King Cockatoo, a comic with a red face and a golden crown. A lady dressed up as Syfax, servant to the fairy, in green tights, claps her hands, thereby working the most incredible magic…the ballet, the glitter of fairies…pink legs, perfect legs, divine and without blemish, trip and whirr and spring to the front of the stage.

(Thomas Mann, from ‘ An essay on the theatre’, tr. Allan Blunden)