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Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! (Susan Elkin reviews)

Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! continues at Sadler’s Wells, London until 30 January 2022 and then tours until 23 April 2021.

Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This production is like a Christmas tree. It’s evergreen and tinselly.

But of course this is Matthew Bourne so it’s also shot through with his characteristic robust muscularity which is why it’s still going strong 30 years after its inception. It’s a heady mixture.

We start in the grey austerity of an orphanage where the children (corps de ballet) are decorating for Christmas under instructions to impress benefactor visitors.

Then, once the visitors have left, the decorations and the gifts, including the titular nutcracker are hurled by hostile staff into a cupboard and the children climb into their beds.

We know something dramatic is imminent but in this production it isn’t the usual army of invading mice …

For the rest of this review please see Musical Theatre Review:

Author information
Susan Elkin Susan Elkin is an education journalist, author and former secondary teacher of English. She was Education and Training Editor at The Stage from 2005 - 2016
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