Birmingham Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker at The REP Online
Following a successful digital run during the Christmas season, the Birmingham Royal Ballet are giving audiences an opportunity to watch their acclaimed production of The Nutcracker once again, this time with a different, equally outstanding cast. The production is an exemplary rendition of the classic: from the choreography to the costumes and set design, every detail is exceptionally curated and executed.
The story follows the young Clara (Laura Day) and Fritz, who are celebrating Christmas Eve at home with their family. When the magician Drosselmeyer (Rory Mackay) joins the party, he brings a few toys with him as gifts for the children. Just as midnight strikes, Clara is amazed to see these toys come alive and she witnesses a battle of the King Rat and his army against the toy soldiers. She then finds herself in the Kingdom of Sweets where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy (Samara Downs) and her Prince (Tyrone Singleton). An array of characters from around the world perform in front of Clara with traditional costumes, dazzling the young girl and the audience, too.
The music, which needs no introduction, provides a magical atmosphere that is intensified by the rich visual array that accompanies it. The production features the Royal Ballet Sinfonia performing Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score live. The choreography is superb and delivered with charm, with high energy moments that showcase the dancers’ skill and vigour, and graceful pas de deux that totally absorb the viewer. The plot itself lacks continuity, with the narrative thread soon giving way almost exclusively to the magical elements and characters, which are celebrated in and of themselves. This weakness is forgiven, however, when the adaptation is as well made as this one is, and all the other components are fully capitalised on.
While The Nutcracker is inevitably associated with the festive period, there is no time limit for bringing some magic into family homes and creating a winter wonderland atmosphere. Of course, this is the type of show that is doubtless breathtaking when experienced live, but the Birmingham Royal Ballet have put together such a strong production that it will still make for a very enjoyable ride.
Photo: Johan Persson
The Nutcracker is available to stream from 15th February until 24th February 2021. For further information or to book visit the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s website here.