Reviewed by Cate Norris
From the moment the conductor popped up and instigated an instrumental conversation, I knew there and then that this was going to be something very special. A swarm of buzzing flutes called out and eager violins confidently responded, whilst every single hair on my body stood on end. For anyone else who like me, has lived under a rock and is unfamiliar with the story of The Nutcracker, it is centred around a ballet student called Clara. Clara’s parents throw a Christmas party and among the guests is a magician, Drosselmeyer, who gives Clara a Nutcracker doll as a gift. The doll gets broken by Clara’s brother during the party but Drosselmeyer uses magic to repair it. After the party, Clara sneaks downstairs to look at the doll but at the stroke of midnight, Clara’s world becomes strange and magical, where toys come to life, everything is bigger, anything is possible and she is faced with some real threats.
Just like the toys, I was utterly spellbound. The magic of Christmas was captured in every scene through colour, Christmas trees, snow and amazing costumes. I am now completely filled with that ‘gingerbread feeling’ and well and truly in the spirit of Christmas.
The dancing was incredible, and this was by far the most splendid ballet I have ever seen, which left me utterly mesmerised. I was completely in awe of the strength and control of the dancers, who look so tiny but have such a command over their own bodies that they make every move look effortless and move seamlessly across the stage. They are amazing and a real inspiration, which was evident during the interval and the sight of little girls everywhere, pirouetting all around. I have to mention Momoko Hirata as The Sugar Plum Fairy, Tzu-Chao Chou as Jack in the Box and Celine Gittens as The Rose Fairy for some of the most beautiful ballet I have ever seen.
I would recommend the Birmingham Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker for all. It’s the ideal night out during this cold weather, completely surrounded by the warmth and magic of Christmas, perfect for all of the family.
Tickets cost from £19 (booking fees may apply).
The Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Birmingham Hippodrome with The Nutcracker from 25 November to 13 December 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com or call the box office on 0844 338 5000.
Birmingham Hippodrome, Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB | 0844 338 5000