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The Nutcracker Prince review at Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough

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Adam Sunderland and his team have enjoyed previous Christmas residencies at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Now for the first time they have the famed in the round auditorium at their disposal, rather than the bleak and unappealing end stage. It is a timely acknowledgement of their work.

This non-balletic interpretation of the Nutcracker story really is enormous fun. It is richly colourful, consistently witty and astonishingly inventive. Set piece events are staged with fluid, dynamic, quite thrilling movement. Six of the community cast create the Queen of Sweetonia with just a white face mask, a wire head dress and two lengthy shawls and they make her live. Everyone cheers when a huge inflatable jelly baby suddenly springs from a trapdoor and tackles Mr Attus (Leigh Symonds), the king of the rats.

Heroine Carrie Mell (Helen Mcfarlane) is bespectacled and bullied and her soldier father died “somewhere hot” – possibly Afghanistan. It all makes perfect, heartening sense. Mcfarlane makes Carrie normal and exceptional.

Unfortunately The Nutcracker Prince is having a lamentably short run. The reason being that everyone in the unfailingly excellent cast will be appearing in Blithe Spirit which follows in the same auditorium. There will be some disappointed families around Scarborough.

Production Information

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, November 29-December 16

Author
ETA Hoffman, adapted by Andrew Pollard
Director
Adam Sunderland
Producer
Stephen Joseph Theatre
Cast
Matt Connor, Shelley Atkinson, Helen Macfarlane, Leigh Symonds, Bryn Holding
Running time
2hrs

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