The Nutcracker theatre: The Nutcracker is a classic Christmas time tale, which has been portrayed many times as a ballet.  The soaring music of Tchaikovsky whisks you off on a beautiful frosty adventure.

Photo: Emma Kauldhar

The festive spirit is set as the lights dim to show children peering out of the windows of a large house watching the snow fall as their family prepares for a Party the night before Christmas.  The children are impatient for the festive celebrations to start but are not allowed in as the maids prepare the room. Clara (Rachael Gillespie) and her brother Frederic (Kevin Poeung) squabble childishly and are reprimanded and indulged by their grandparents (Pippa Moore, Filippo Di Vilio).  Finally, the party guests start arriving and the party room is revealed. Clara’s and Fredericks exotic uncle Drosselmeyer (Mlindi Kulashe) arrives laden with gifts from his travels. He brings puppets, which appear life like and are mechanical in their dancing which are much admired by the guests, but the most treasured gift is the Nutcracker.

The magic starts as the household goes to bed, and Clara heads back to the Christmas tree to see her Nutcracker (Ashley Dixon) and enters the room to find it has all become larger and is full of mice.  The Mouse King (Joseph Taylor) has declared war and the Nutcracker and his soldiers battle with the mice and turns into a real boy. Clara and the Nutcracker head off to the beautiful land of snow and are surrounded by the shimmering snow maidens.  The scenery is beautiful and wintery as the snow falls over the dancers.

Clara and her Nutcracker then travel to through the stars to a garden of delights where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy (Minju Kang) and her Cavalier (Javier Torres).  They see Cossacks and French ballet dancers which are strikingly similar to the puppets that Uncle Drosselmeyer brought home. The dancing ends and Clara wakes up in her father’s arms, has her adventures with the Nutcracker been a dream?

The Regency style costumes of the party guests are exquisite and the rich warm colours of the dances outfit are stunning, adding to the festive delight of the production.  There is a delightfully warm humour throughout the production which offsets the frosty chill of the wintery set.

This is a wonderful ballet that keeps all ages entranced with the mesmerizing spectacle on the stage, a delightful pre-Christmas treat of a show that keeps the Christmas magic sparkling.

The Nutcracker is running at the New Victoria Theatre until 2nd December 2018.

 

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The Nutcracker