City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Nutcracker, Festival Theatre, Review, 2017


By Imogen Rowe - Posted on 10 December 2017

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Show Details
Company: 
Scottish Ballet
Production: 
Peter Darrell (Choreography) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Composer) Lez Brotherson (Design) George Thomson (Lighting) Jean-Claude Picard (Conductor of the Scottish Ballet Orchestra)
Performers: 
Christopher Harrison, Constance Devernay, Sophie Martin, Nicholas Shoesmith, Matthew Broadbent, Lily Wearmouth, Madeline Squire, Grace Horler, Jack Burns, Aisling Brangan, Pascal Johnson, Daniella Oddi, Jamiel Laurence, Constant Vigier, Rimbaud Patron, Bruno Micchiardi, Luke Schaufuss, Nicole Conti, Thomas Edwards, Andrew Peasgood, Barnaby Rook Bishop, Claire Souet, Eado Turgeman, Marge Hendrick, Roseanna Leney, Mia Thompson, Melissa Parsons, Iana Phillips, Roisin Gallagher, Grace McGinley, Olive Swan, Charlie O'Rourke, Archie Anderson
Running time: 
120mins

Come one, come all! Feast your eyes and ears at the Festival Theatre for one of the most quintessential Christmas treats brought to us this year by Scottish Ballet.

For many of us the idyllic ideas of Christmas stem from the Victorian style - Christmas trees with candles, snow outside, a big room full of elegant family and beautiful clothes and food. This is exactly what The Nutcracker brings to the stage in a whirl of aesthetic delight. We begin looking up at a huge townhouse door before we are let in to the sumptuous wonders of the Colonel's Christmas Eve Party.

When Clara, the Colonel's daughter, (Lily Wearmouth) is given a Nutcracker by the mysterious magician Dosselmeyer she loves it immediately. Creeping down after the party, Clara falls alseep with her Nutcracker and both are transported into a magical world of mice, snow and the Land of Sweets where Clara is entertained all night long. The toy soldiers do battle with the infamous Rat King( Jamiel Laurence); the Snow Queen ( Constance Devernay) and her snowflakes welcome them; the Sugarplum Fairy (Sophie Martin) shows them delicacies from around the world and dances a beautiful pas de deux with the Nutcracker prince (Christopher Harrison).

Scottish Ballet do not do things by halves. With a score as magical and well-loved as Tchaikovsky's and choreography by founder Peter Darrell, this production is everything you could want and more. Lez Brotherson's opulent designs encapsulate the dream-like fantasies of Clara and Dosselmeyer's creations and cast their spell over the audience who respond with gasps, laughter and thundering applause.

The dancers of Scottish Ballet are amazing. Darrell's playful choreography and ambitious staging demonstrate the company's world class skill and passion. The decision to cast children in the children's roles was Darrell's idea when his production first hit the stage in 1973 and this hasn't changed. The opportunity for these young dancers to perform in such a large-scale production is very exciting, not just for them but for their professional counterparts and for their peers in the audience. It is wonderfully refreshing to see children in children's roles,that will no doubt forge a way for them in their careers to come.

Every element of this production is beautifully conceived and brought to life from the enormous Christmas tree to the heads of the mice, all played by children, to the outrageous costumes of the Russian dancers. The Rat King is a highlight, leaping into battle in his furry trews and meeting tremendous defeat and Clara's hand.

The Nutcracker is a perfectly decadent, sumptuous, delicious fest for all the senses and will continue to delight audiences around the country until February 2018. It is unquestionably the best dream you'll have all Christmas.

9th-30th December, Festival Theatre