I am well and truly in the festive spirit after seeing the ethereal performance of The Nutcracker at Norwich Theatre Royal last night. This enchanting and magical production transported me to a festive fantasy land – the kind of place I dreamed of as a young child. The Northern Ballet beautifully bought to life the infamous tale of Clara and her Nutcracker toy who comes to life on Christmas Eve. It’s a classic piece and not one to be missed, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the festive season either.
As the curtain rose the audience was transported back in time to Christmas Eve in the Grand Regency era, which couldn’t have been any more quintessentially British if it tried. From the get-go, we were quickly drawn in by the grace, poise and ability of the dancers to tell a tale through movement and facial expressions alone. You could have heard a pin drop, a moment or two into the performance. At times I had to remind myself to breathe – I was that engrossed!
It wasn’t all silence and wonderment though – I was pleasantly surprised to discover how funny The Nutcracker was. The dancing grandparents, stroppy children and flossing rat king had the audience chuckling away merrily. And yes, you did read ‘flossing rat king’ right! David Nixon OBE managed to seamlessly weave a subtle smattering of modern references into this thoroughly traditional tale. A rather impressive feat!
The costumes and the set really added to the magical and whimsical nature of the show too. The Swarovski adorned dresses and headpieces were simply stunning. The way the light bounced off of them, as the ballerinas twirled around on stage was hypnotising. So too were glitter snowfall and twinkling lights in the forest scenes. It really felt like we had been transported straight into the pages of a fairytale book.
The Nutcracker at Norwich Theatre Royal was just so beautiful, it felt almost like a dream. It really is the perfect festive treat. It’ll transport you out of your everyday life into a magical fantasy land for an hour or two. As I sat watching, I felt that child-like sense wonderment and excitement return to my adult life. You really can’t put a price on that.
The Northern Ballet’s The Nutcracker at Norwich Theatre Royal runs until Saturday 24th November, before embarking on a UK tour. Limited tickets remain for the Norwich performances (click here for more info or call the box office on 01603 630000)