My take on the story
One of the most famous ballets. With the most famous songs. And most famous stories. Let me describe The Nutcracker by the Northern Ballet in an oh so nontraditional way. I warn you, my take is not so magical and pleasant…
It’s the night before Christmas and lots of very wealthy family and friends are giddy. The children giddy through excitement and the adults no doubt through the help of some tipples. Their tree is the size of Mount Everest, overpowering the sitting room and screams ‘look how rich and respected we are’. I’m sure I can even hear the chant ‘ner ner ner ner nerr’ but that might be an exaggeration.
There’s a young girl who’s clearly not happy with her sea of presents circulating Mount Everest and begins admiring the ladies in the room, with their expensive frocks and jewellery. She even goes as far as rubbing their fabrics on her face and I’ll leave it at that. So she may need some therapy.
She has a brother who is most certainly the tyrant of the family, constantly teasing her and causing trouble. I suspect he is rebelling from his strict and mannered lifestyle. He’s a rebel without a cause, as he does not realise just how lucky he has it, so I immediately dislike the cut of his jib and foresee a future with short spans in prison and long spans in rehab.
Now if this family wasn’t looking dysfunctional enough a strange man arrives. He looks dodgy, and certainly has a few restraining orders against him. He brings some more gifts inside a large box for the bratty children, because like I said, that sea of presents is less the Pacific Ocean and more the Atlantic. I know, right!
Now this is where it gets weird as some human sized dolls jump out of the box and begin to dance. They’re not the inflatable kind, which is surprising given the strangers nature. The children are then presented with the Nutcracker – dun dun dunnn. A wooden doll that can crack nuts. The brother and sister quickly fight over it and break it, because they clearly haven’t been taught to share. They moan even though it’s their own fault, and the party looks to be over. It’s taken a broken doll to piss everyone off. How obscene.
This stranger begins to cast some spells. He thinks he’s a wizard. Maybe his restraining order is against Hermione or something? The young girl returns downstairs, and I keep shouting stranger danger! She thinks this man is a magician, but I believe he has spiked the girls drink as she begins to see the toys and dolls come to life. A wave of beautiful Arabian princesses, Russian cossacks, French ballet dancers and even exotic flowers manifest in front of her eyes.
Once she’s danced the night away and had a trip of a lifetime, she retells the story to her parents, who laugh off her stupidity. When really they should be consoling her and directing her to Talk to Frank for drugs counselling.
The irresponsible parents take their damaged child to bed and leave the strange man in their home. The End.
I’m sorry if I’ve ruined this story for you.
Northern Ballet created a magical performance as always. The first act was compelling and led the story where as the second act became a showcase of choreography. I was transported into a beautiful little bubble that protected me from reality and immersed me into fantasy. Top marks and a top festive treat.