The Royal Ballet's Nutcracker is the ultimate Christmas treat, never failing to delight young and old alike. Set on Christmas Eve, it tells the story of Clara as she is given a Nutcracker doll and they are transported through the snow to a dream-like kingdom of dancing treats. Peter Wright’s production is a traditional one, taking inspiration from the original 1892 version and bringing a sense of old-fashioned charm to the stage.
There are numerous dancers who shine, but it is Gary Avis' sparkling Drosselmeyer that carries the story and gives the show its fabulous festive magic. Meaghan Grace Hinkis is a charming Clara, her youthful smile and small stature making the character utterly convincing. Roberta Marquez and Steven McRae are a triumphant Sugar Plum couple with McRae's technique shimmering as brightly as the stunning Kingdom of Sweets set by Julia Trevelyan Oman. Tchaikovsky’s exquisite score is showcased with equal excellence by the Royal Opera House orchestra, under the baton of Koen Kessels.
This show is simply a delight from start to finish. Its gorgeous music, sugary story, superb designs and outstanding performances by the Royal Ballet dancers make it an unmissable show for Christmas.
The Nutcracker is in rep at the Royal Opera House until January 16. It is sold out but 67 seats are available on the day of the performance to personal callers at the ROH box office. Click here for more information. The Nutcracker is also being streamed live into cinemas across the UK on 13 December. To find a cinema near showing near you, click here.
Pictured: Gary Avis and Meaghan Grace Hinkis in The Nutrcacker / Photo by Bill Cooper, courtesy of ROH.