The Nutcracker at the Eastgate Theatre

 

With its magical festive setting, there can be few ballets that put audiences more in the mood for Christmas than The Nutcracker. And that will certainly be the case when The Royal Opera Ballet’s exquisite production of this all-time favourite classical ballet is screened live at the Eastgate Theatre on Thursday 8 December.

This much-loved production by Peter Wright tells a story familiar to many: when the young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker – the mysterious magician Drosselmeyer is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure.

Having defeated the Mouse King, the Nutcracker and Clara travel through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy treats them to a beautiful display of dances. Once back home, Clara thinks she must have been dreaming … but perhaps not?

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker score was commissioned by the director of the Russian Imperial Theatres following the resounding success of The Sleeping Beauty in 1890. First performed in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, The Nutcracker was initially poorly received, but its combination of delightful choreography and unforgettable music has since made it one of the best loved of all ballets.

In Peter Wright’s classic production for The Royal Ballet, the stage sparkles with theatrical magic – a Christmas tree grows before the audience’s eyes, toy soldiers come to life, while Clara and the Nutcracker are whisked away to the Kingdom of Sweets on a golden sleigh.

Tchaikovsky’s score also contains some of ballet’s best-known melodies, from the flurrying Waltz of the Snowflakes to the dream-like Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – all brilliantly set in Wright’s choreography. And with Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs drawing upon 19th-century images of Christmas, this magical production is tailor-made for the festive season.

Further info

The Royal Opera Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker will screen live at the Eastgate Theatre on Thursday 8 December, 7.15pm. Tickets available now from Box Office on 01721 725777 or online, £17, £10 schoolchildren.

 

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