THERE is no better sign that Christmas is fast approaching than the arrival of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the city’s Hippodrome theatre.
With this year marking the production’s silver anniversary, the Standard’s Beth Wright was lucky enough to get a ticket to opening night on Friday (November 27).
I had been looking forward to the performance since the email landed in my inbox offering press tickets – and the show itself was no disappointment.
It was my first time watching the world-famous production – indeed it was my first trip to the ballet at all – and I was a little apprehensive as to how well I would follow the narrative without any dialogue, but I needn’t have worried.
I’d been expecting an impressive show but from the moment the curtain went up and I laid eyes on the towering Christmas tree I was hooked.
The beauty of the scenery combined with the effortless choreography and music from the orchestra pit, had me spellbound from start to finish.
The magical production, which has become an annual tradition for many, will have been performed 429 times in Birmingham before the cast leave town on December 13 and its not hard to see why its such a favourite with spectacular sets and John F. Macfarlane’s stunning costumes.
The audience – myself included – gasped in delight when flurries of snow fell silently from the ceiling, mice ran across the stage and Clara took her flight across the magical land of toy soldiers, sugar plum fairies and her handsome prince on the back of a swan.
A particular highlight was the dance of the sugar plum fairy which left audience members, particularly the little girls amongst us, gasping in delight and awe.
Tickets, priced between £19 and £56, are still available online at http://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/ for performances taking place at 7.30pm Tuesday to Saturday.
Matinees will also run at 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 2.30pm on Saturdays and 1.30pm on Sundays.