Review: The Nutcracker, Theatre Royal, Newcastle

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CHRISTMAS must be on the horizon and what a cracking way to ease into the festive season with Northern Ballet’s version of a ballet classic.

Danced to what can be described as Tchaikovsky’s greatest hits, we join the action in the 19th century regency period on Christmas Eve, with presents under the tree and excited people of all ages at a party.

This is a story for everyone who believes in the Christmas spirit. Unlike Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, however, this is a sugary version of Yuletide, but who cares?

For 90 minutes we are pulled into a beautiful world of make believe.

Uncle Drosselmeyer (Darren Goldsmith) has brought a box from the Far East and, when midnight strikes and Clara (Pippa Moore) opens her presents, she is taken on a magical journey by the Nutcracker Prince (Ashley Dixon)

Through enchanted, snow-covered forests and a winter wonderland we meet characters like the Mouse King (Kenneth Tindall), the Sugar Plum Fairy (Martha Leebolt) and her Cavalier (Javier Torres) as well as being treated to a plethora of national dances from Spain, China, France, Russia and Arabia. It’s a beautiful sight.

Like all dreams it has to end sometime and as the dancing ceases Clara wakes up. But was that her uncle and the Nutcracker Prince she catches a glimpse of in the ballroom?

Northern Ballet can be commended for their beautiful interpretation of a beautiful story.