Reviews, Theatre

The Nutcracker

This Christmas I went to watch Sir Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker performed by the Birmingham Royal Ballet at Birmingham Hippodrome. Everyone knows the story of The Nutcracker.

It is Christmas eve and doctor Stahlbaum and his wife are doing a party. They have 2 children, Clara, a ballet student, and her younger brother Fritz as well as some of Clara’s friend’s, Mrs Stahlbaum has invited a magician, Drosselmeyer. He brings gifts to all the children and a nutcracker doll for Clara.

When the guests have departed, Clara creeps downstairs looking for the nutcracker doll, as the clock strikes midnight, the room seems to grow and giant rats, led by their king attack Clara, the nutcracker springs to life, and summoning the toy soldiers, defends her.

Realising the nutcracker is about to be overpowered, Clara hits the rat king with her shoe. The nutcracker falls to the ground, semesterly lifeless and Clara tries to revive him. As he comes back to life, to her amazement he has turned into a handsome prince. He dances wither and then leads her to the land of snow where the winds land her in the night sky.

Clara flies through the clouds and the arrives in a strange place where a fantastic world is conjured up by Drosselmeyer. Who shows her the sun, moon, flowers and dances from many different lands. The rat king bursts in, but the nutcracker prince and the Drosselmeyer vanishes forever.

Drosselmeyer now puts on a grand entertainment in Clara’s honour as a reward for her bravery. She joins in many of the dances and is finally transformed into the sugarplum fairy, the ballerina of her dreams. The nutcracker prince reappears and dances with her. As the dances reaches its climax the dream world vanishes and Clara awakens at the foot of the Christmas tree.

I had not yet seen a live ballet on stage and I wasn’t sure if it was my cup of tea. There was not any dialogue in the performance, so it was difficult to follow. The performance was very busy as there was a lot of cast and performers on the stage at one time. I was sure to concentrate on the ballet alone and it was choreographed beautifully and the royal ballet sinfonia added a new layer to the performance and the whole performance was transformed into a pure magical production.

 

I would defiantly recommend Sir Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet, it really did make it feel like Christmas!

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