As we make our way through November what better way to start to get into the Christmas spirit than watching Northern Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker? 

This charming production sees an energetic and enthusiastic cast performing one of the most memorable ballet’s of all time that will definitely not fail to charm or put a smile on the audience’s face from beginning to end.

Featuring choreography and costume designs by David Nixon, the Northern Ballet’s production perfectly compliments the music and the characterisations that the cast perform so beautifully throughout.

Throughout, there is a wonderful youthful energetic quality from the performances, particularly from Rachael Gillespie as Clara and Lucia Solari as Louise and the Sugar Plum Fairy, with their lightness on their feet and show great poise and control in their performances constantly.

THE NUTCRACKER. Northern Ballet Theatre.
Ayana Kanda as Clara. Photograph by Bill Cooper. 

The set design by Charles Cusick Smith really captures the spirit and the atmosphere of the ballet by keeping it quite traditional, yet still having that magical quality about it. Everything is smooth and slick in terms of the set, easily adaptable from scene to scene as we move from the house to a magical winter land filled with plenty of adventures.

It is easy to understand why this is such a firm family favourite. Sitting next to a little girl aged about six, she looked completely enraptured in the world and the quality of dancing that has been created by Northern Ballet. There is something special about watching this show that is warm hearted and filled with plenty of magical moments that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

This is particularly evident in the second act, where every dancer is given their moment to shine. Highlights include the Chinese Dance, (performed by Sebastian Loe and Matthew Koon) which while brief has plenty of humour and energy about it that is magnetic to watch or the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy exquisitely performed from beginning to end that you can’t take your eyes off Solari for a second.

It has to be said that out of the two acts, the second act is perhaps the stronger. The first act feels a bit of a slow build up to the main point of the action and although what we do see is charming it does take a bit of time for it to settle down and focus.

But this in no way distracts from the many wonderful performances from an extremely talented cast who deliver high quality performances throughout the show. Each of the dancers movements were enhanced by the stunning costumes that flowed elegantly around the dancers, adding to the overall flow of the production.

The Northern Ballet production of The Nutcracker is on at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until Saturday 7th November. It will then travel to Newcastle, Norwich and Leeds.  To buy tickets for the show visit: http://northernballet.com/the-nutcracker . 

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