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BrumHour was invited to see The Nutcracker at Birmingham Hippodrome by Birmingham Royal Ballet.
For BrumHour on Brum Radio, Dave Massey spoke to Birmingham Royal Ballet First Soloist. Jonathan Payn and Ben Leveson head of stage about bringing The Nutcracker back to Birmingham. Listen back here:
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
The Nutcracker –
Birmingham Royal Ballet at
Sir Peter Wright’s production with choreography by Lev Ivanov, Vincent Redmon and Peter Wright, music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
On a Victorian or Edwardian (?) Christmas Eve and Clara (Karla Doorbar) and her brother Fritz (Joseph Burdett) have friends over for a party being thrown by their parents (Wolfgang Stollwitzer and Delia Mathews) at their big house. A magician (Jonathan Payn) brings his show to the house to enchant and delight and for some reason he brings gifts to the children. The girls all get dolls! and the boys get musical instruments! Fritz is given a pack of soldiers and Clara gets given a wooden Nutcracker toy!
After everyone has gone home and the family have gone to bed, the clock strikes midnight magical things begin to happen and Clara finds herself transported to a fantasy land filled with dancers and even more magic.
It’s been a whole year since my mother first mentioned going to see The Nutcracker. Normally it is the first ballet someone sees and rightly so, however, I’ve have been seeing ballet throughout 2019 to ensure I felt ready to write about this well-loved production.
I really loved this huge production and from the fantastic orchestra playing Tchaikovsky score filled with many well known instrumental pieces.
Set wise the hall in the first half gives away secrets about the life of Clara and her family, at first glance everything seems settled but the five different red curtains hanging from the rafters suggest an uneven life and as the mother wears the red coloured dress it suggests that she might be the source of this.
Clara herself is dressed like the younger girls at the party but the man she is interested in is dressed like the adults. She doesn’t want to grow up but knows that she probably can’t avoid it.
I imagine young girls and some boys watching this production for the first time enchanted by the ballerinas and costuming. Dreams of a life on the stage are born at experiences like this.
The dancers in the second half really stood out for me as the focus shifts to a frozen land particularly César Morales as the prince, Samra Downs as The Snow Fairy, Céline Gittens as The Rose Fairy and Miki Mizutani as The Sugar Plum Fairy.
Delightful and totally charming, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker is at Birmingham Hippodrome until 14th December 2019. Book tickets here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/the-nutcracker-19
The Nutcracker returns to Birmingham Hippodrome to celebrate its 30th anniversary year from 20th November until 12th December 2020. Book tickets here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/the-nutcracker-20
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre, Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.