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The Nutcracker review at Hippodrome Birmingham

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Sir Peter Wright’s production elevates The Nutcracker into a new dimension, light years away from the sugary Christmas offering that it can become. It is breathtaking in scale and imagination. There is such a sense of occasion in the portrait of a Victorian household at Christmas, richly detailed and with delightful cameos, especially from the children.

The designers achieve a spectacular transformation of the set by giving the illusion of zooming in on the towering Christmas tree and so changing the scale of the room so that we see it as though through a magnifying lens. The rats pour out of a now giant fireplace to battle in smoke and flames with the soldiers, before a truly magical ascent into a soft and ethereal Land of Snow and the sublime pas de deux danced by LaNvtitia Lo Sardo as Clara and Robert Parker as the Prince.

The fantasy world of act two is brilliantly created in a swirl of Drosselmeyer’s cloak, with the magician himself powerfully danced by Michael O’Hare. The union of Elisha Willis as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Parker as the Prince sets the seal on a production for which huge credit must also go to the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

Production Information

Hippodrome, Birmingham, December 3-15

Composer
Pyotr Ilytch Tchaikovsky
Choreography
Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Vincent Redmon
Producer
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Cast includes
Elisha Willis, Robert Parker, Michael O’Hare, LaNvtitia Lo Sardo
Running time
2hrs 5mins

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