Review: The Nutcracker at Newcastle Theatre Royal until Saturday

THE inscription on my brand new seat reads "such stuff as dreams are made on", and Prospero's quote from The Tempest can be neatly applied to this production.

THE inscription on my brand new seat reads "such stuff as dreams are made on", and Prospero's quote from The Tempest can be neatly applied to this production.

It’s the kind of show which can coax the childhood dreamer out of any weary cynic, and Northern Ballet pull out all the stops for this frothy Christmas fantasy.

In addition to a lavish set are luscious costumes, fairy dust, snow, a full moon, children in mice costumes and a proper orchestra in the pit.

I have never felt more short-changed than when I went to see one version of this ballet and the Tchaikovsky score was belting out of loudspeakers.

It’s like getting Morecambe with no Wise. So, thankfully, the Northern Ballet Sinfonia provide the marvelous music alongside the moves, and all set against a glorious Regency backdrop.

The night before Christmas takes place in the Edwards’ magnificently chintzy country house, with dancers wearing subtle blues, whites and fawns.

It’s all very fashionable Jane Austen, until Herr Drosselmeyer enters with his dreams of all things Oriental. With his sparkly cape and long locks, he’s a smiley rather a creepy magician and the whole production is as sweet as Turkish delight.

However, this production does have substance in scenes, such as the battle between toy soldiers in red coats and the king rat, perhaps referring to the Napoleonic Wars of the era.

A stunning transformation takes place for Act II and, while this is a fairly traditional family-friendly interpretation of the ballet, with lots of tutus and pointe, there is some gentle humour and a smattering of kitsch.

I may be a sentimental fool, but I was genuinely mesmerised by this utterly charming interpretation.

 

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