The Nutcracker, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Hippodrome
STUNNING dancing and jaw dropping sets all packaged with some of the greatest music in the world – welcome to Christmas with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
And in truth the festive season couldn’t have got off to a better start – this production is now in its 26th year and just keeps getting and better.
The magic starts the moment the curtain goes up and keeps the audience – both young and old – absolutely spellbound until long after the last notes have been struck.
To add to the out of this world experience the opening night coincided with the 90th birthday of Sir Peter Wright, the man who created the production and who appeared on stage in person to take the plaudits and a standing ovation as the enthralled audience sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him.
His verdict on the performance? ‘Sensational’ – and he was right.
The pirouetting Monoko Hirata as The Sugar Plum Fairy brought the house down while Joseph Caley as The Prince absolutely dazzled – and must have the best smile in the business to boot.
Tzu-Chao Chou’s high kicking Jack in the Box delighted while Jonathan Payn’s magician Drosselmayer cast a suitable shade of mystery.
There were some tremendously effective set pieces too, particularly in the Snowflakes scene performed by artists of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, which was simply beautiful.
However a special mention must go to Karla Doobar’s Clara, the ballet student whose dream sets the whole fabulous experience in motion; her sense wonderment at what unfolds was a joy to behold.
With the Royal Ballet Sinfonia not missing a beat of Tchaikovsky’s magical music this show really is a box of delights and the perfect start to Christmas.
The Nutcracker continues until December 13.