Royal Ballet's Nutcracker Is Simply Stunning

The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House ★★★★★

Hari Mountford
By Hari Mountford Last edited 45 months ago

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Royal Ballet's Nutcracker Is Simply Stunning The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House 5

Each year, the arrival of The Nutcracker on stage signals that the Christmas period has truly begun — this time, it seems even more magical than ever. In the newly revamped Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet dancing the most festive of shows will make even the most determined of Grinches feel all warm inside.

Choreographed by Peter Wright, this 2018 rendition emphasises the role of toymaker extraordinaire, Drosselmeyer. Some may say he is foregrounded too much, but this something we're willing to overlook given the sheer excellence of everything else on show.

The dancing is exquisite — flawlessly executed sequences fill the entire production from start to finish. The scenery is no half-hearted affair either, and is possibly the most festive to date. The star of the set is the impressively lit Christmas tree, which grows halfway through the performance to at least the height of a double decker bus.

Marianela Nunez as the Sugar Plum Fairy is sheer perfection, and Anna Rose O’Sullivan (Clara) shows intense stamina: this Clara, though, is slightly older than the original story suggests her to be. Clara and the Nutcracker’s involvement in the Kingdom of Sweets’ dances is unusual, but it is a successful touch: from the Arabian dance to the Mirlitons, rather than watch from afar like previous productions, it’s a joining-in affair in Wright’s Nutcracker.

With glitter a plenty, the most incredible dancing you’ve ever seen, and enough Christmas spirit to power a sleigh, this is one show that should be on your Christmas list.

The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD. Tickets from £10, until 15 January 2019.

Last Updated 17 December 2018