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The Nutcracker, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Hippodrome

FOR many people, a trip to The Nutcracker marks the start of their festive season.

FOR many people, a trip to The Nutcracker marks the start of their festive season.

Almost 20 years since this production made its debut, it still has the power to wow the audience - many of whom I expect are annual visitors.

I saw the show for the first time last year and was pleased to go along again.

Now I admit it didn’t have quite the same impact this time, but there’s no doubt this is a spectacular affair - worthy of its reputation.

Even waiting to go in, you can feel the buzz - people have been looking forward to this.

The story centres on young Clara (Carol Anne-Millar), who is enjoying Christmas Eve with her family. The show opens in the luxurious surroundings of a Victorian manor a chance for the guests to show off their moves.

An intimate start, but things are about to get a whole lot bigger - quite literally.

When Clara creeps downstairs, after everyone is asleep, she finds the magician Drosselmeyer waiting for her. All of a sudden magical things start happening.

The stagecraft is astounding, we see a Christmas tree soar upward (or is Clara shrinking?). Within moments the canopy of a giant spruce hangs over the dancers.

Other treats include a rodent regiment, a mix of international dances and the breathtaking sight of the main character - flying through the clouds on the back of a snow goose.

Oh and then there’s the ballet. I can’t pretend to be an expert, but the crowd loved it.

 

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