Crown Ballet, The Nutcracker, Playhouse Theatre, Weston Review

Bonfire night has been and gone, Christmas lights are being strung across the high street and to make you embrace the festive mood even more, be lucky enough to see the Crown Ballet’s superb performance of The Nutcracker. A ballet set to Tchaikovsky’s enchanting music full of refrains we know so well, it’s beautifully costumed and a colourful and vibrant production to please all the family.

The charming fairy story takes place on Christmas Eve at a party given by Marie’s parents; one of her presents is a Nutcracker doll which she dreams about who comes to life and takes her on a journey to the land of sweets, ruled by the sugar plum fairy but not before a fierce battle between toy soldiers and a group of wicked mice, led by the Mouse King, is fought under the family’s large and imposing Christmas tree.

The dual roles of Marie and the sugar plum fairy are danced with grace and faultless point work and her Nutcracker prince complements her delicate performance with his strength and energy. Mouse King was terrific, the picture of the red-eyed evil rodent, danced with menace and great precision. The corp de ballet finished the first act with the gentle and elegant dance of the snowflakes, a delight to watch in its visual synchronicity.

The second act sees Marie entertained in the Kingdom of Sweets by a combination of dances from around the world, Spanish, Eastern, Chinese, and French : each couple give a lively version of the country’s local dance. The couples did this wonderfully and we particularly enjoyed the delicate precision in the Chinese dance, and the sensuous vigour of the Eastern interpretation, making effortless shapes with intricate lifts. Altogether it was a wonderful show, with a talented cast of young dancers all obviously committed to their art and delighted to entertain us.

Weston-super-Mare is lucky to have the Playhouse Theatre which brings classical productions like this to the local people at a fraction of the ticket price you would expect to pay in London and are the real deal in performance and entertainment.

Jacquie Vowles

Playhouse Theatre, 126-130 High Street, Weston-super-mare, BS23 1HP


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