Last year ENB was forced by COVID-19 restrictions to turn its Nutcracker into an online selection of the best-known bits of the ballet, aptly named 'Nutcracker Delights'; this year – fingers crossed! – we should get the full work live on stage. Tickets are on sale now, should you want to plan ahead for your family Christmas
The plot follows the established storyline: at a Christmas Eve party in a well-to-do home young Clara receives a magical nutcracker as a present from her mysterious godfather, Dr Drosselmeyer. Following a fierce battle with an army of fearsome mice, the victorious Nutcracker morphs into a charming young man, who accompanies the besotted Clara and Drosselmeyer on a visit to the Land of Snow.
Artists of ENB in Nutcracker photo by ASH
ENB’s production is the work of its former artistic director Wayne Eagling, who introduced a few significant modifications to the more traditional format. So, the set for the Act I Christmas Party is a prosperous home in Edwardian London, rather than its equivalent in bourgeois Germany; the voyage from the party to the Land of Snow is carried out not in a winter sleigh, but rather in a hot air balloon, that takes off before your very eyes.
The mice are rather scarier and a lot more intrusive than in other productions; in fact, as they keep popping up in Act II, their intrusive presence there serving no good purpose.
However, Eagling’s Nutcracker for ENB (note the deliberate omission of the definite article!) has charming touches: some of the guests ice skate their way to the party on the frozen Thames; the divertissements in Act II are a delight and give the company’s many excellent soloists a chance to show their mettle in lively variations.
And the ensemble numbers show off the 100-strong company at its glorious, beautifully drilled best.
Of course, ENB’s Nutcracker is danced to Tchaikovsky’s entrancing score, played live - yet another considerable plus!
In short, this is THE family Christmas treat par excellence, full of goodies for both children and adults – with plenty of matinées available, even the youngest tots can enjoy a very special outing.
Note: ENB normally stages a number of related events, including workshops, throughout Nutcracker's run. Details will be announced in due time on ENB's website
|What||English National Ballet, Nutcracker 2021, London Coliseum|
|Where||London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, , London , WC2N 4ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
16 Dec 21 – 08 Jan 22, 19:30 mats Tues & Sat & 20 Dec at 14:30; 24 Dec at 14:00; 26 Dec at 16:00 Dur.: 2 hours 15 mins inc one interval
|Website||Click here to book|