The Nutcracker, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Hippodrome
IT’S pinch yourself time at the Hippodrome.
To be sat there and see the sheer magic of this wonderful production unfold before your very eyes is one of the great joys of Christmas.
The dancers are superb, the sets stunning and the music, played live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, is note perfect.
And even if you’re not a fan of classical, you’ll know nearly all the tunes of Tchaikovsky’s lovely score it’s been plundered so often.
The plot is simple – a party the night before Christmas at the home of a well-to-do family where the entertainment is provided by the mysterious magician Drosselmeyer, played by Jonathan Payn, who also has the best cloak in the business.
But when all the guests have gone and everyone is asleep the real drama begins for the daughter of the house, Clara, played by Karla Doorbar and Drosselmeyer’s gift to her, The Nutcracker.
Her journey becomes the audience’s, complete with breathtaking scenes as she is transported through a winter wonderland.
There are stand out performances throughout: The pas-de-deux by Momoko Hirata’s Sugar Plum Fairy and Cesar Morales’ Prince was stunning while Yijing Zhang’s Snow Fairy justly deserved her applause.
The Russian Dance by Max Maslen, Lachlan Monaghan and Gus Payne brought the cheers but for me the control and sheer strength shown in the Arabian Dance by Yvette Knight, Tim Dutson, Tom Rogers and Harry Wright was amazing.
Through it all Doorbar’s Clara danced and never lost her sense of wonderment at the amazing sights before her, and neither did we in the audience.