Review: Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Royal Ballet's Nutcracker

Musical suites and magical sweets

With musical suites and magical sweets, Sir Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker is a festive feast for all tastes: Tchaikovsky’s score is rich with wonder and originality, a Christmas tree magically grows tall and mighty, and snowflakes fall and flurry in an fairytale forest. Yet, the true gift of the Royal’s Nutcracker is that it’s performed with all the warmth and wit found in a drop of whiskey – a necessary ingredient to deepen the flavour of any Christmas cracker.

The sugary sweetness from the Royal Ballet School children at the Stahlbaum’s Christmas Eve bash is brought back from the brink of saccharine by the Royal Ballet’s believable and oft-overlooked character artists, with Elizabeth McGorian and Christopher Saunders as the idealised Edwardian hosts and Kristen McNally making a delicious meal out of the dancing mistress. As Drosselmeyer, the magician desperate to free his Nutcracker nephew from the Mouse King, Gary Avis is the cream that melts all the magic together, introducing his mechanical dolls – with Paul Kay and Meaghan Grace Hinkis’s darting soldiers a delight for children and adults alike – with a flourish of that magnificent cloak. Continue reading “Review: Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker”