Show Review: The Nutcracker

As the orchestra played the overture, whispers of excitement were heard among members of the audience. Matthew Bourne’s adaption of The Nutcracker in Sadler’s Wells kicked off with a combination of elegance and sheer magic.

Any ballet with a Tchaikovsky score is guaranteed to be great entertainment for all of the family.

Although it was a modern adaptation of a classic ballet, Bourne left some dances unspoiled.

The Spanish Dance” and the “Russian Dance” were presented in their original form, with inclusion of flamenco and Russian dancing.

The “Waltz of the Flowers” was not done with many run-jumps. It shied away from complex pointe work and excluded acrobatic movement.

The ballerinas were dressed in simplistic costume, but should have worn OTT tutus and bathed in glitter if they were to abandon so much technical choreography in the first-half.

What they lacked in talent, they made up for in innuendo, like derrier-smacking and exaggerated winks at the audience.

Because it was a modern adaption of The Nutcracker, there was not much inclusion of the romantic and classical style. Not many would notice this, unless they were looking for finer displays of ballet skills over easily-accessible entertainment.

The explosion of colour in the second half of The Nutcracker was nothing short of a visual treat. The flirty and funny dancing from the ‘marshmallow girls’ and the frisky implications of the liquorice Spanish dancers were well-timed and well-received by the audience.

Overall, the show is a success. For two hours, the escape to ’Sweetieland’ is entertainment and visual art suitable for the entire family.

It is definately well-worth a trip to the ballet to see this production. 

Bourne’s trade-mark clever creative wit is seen every minute on stage. Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, it is easy to see why The Nutcracker is one of Bourne’s most popular productions.

It will be shown in Sadler’s Wells until early January.

Ticket prices range from £10-£60. For information on booking, go to or telephone 0844 412 4300.

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