Jan McNulty Posted December 23, 2012 Share Posted December 23, 2012 I was in Leeds yesterday to see a matinee of Northern Ballet's Nutcracker. It is a delightful production set in Regency England. As we have come to expect from NB the costumes, especially in the party scene, are ravishing. Act 2 relates not to a Kingdom of Sweets but to places on the major trade routes of old. There is a giant tea-caddy like structure at the back of the stage. With Northern Ballet we have come to expect fantastic acting as well as dancing and yesterday we were not disappointed. The front cloth is the outside of the house. As the overture starts we can see in through the windows and the maids are dusting as Mr Edwards keeps a beady eye on them. Darren Goldsmith is so expressive it brought the ballet to life right from the start! The overture led into a top notch performance. Antoinette Brookes-Daw was an absolute delight as Clara. You could see that she was absolutely thrilled by everything to do with the preparations for Christmas; she had just the right amount of young girl on the verge of young womanhood that made her growing love for the living Nutcracker so believable. Her Nutcracker was Kevin Peoung and his performance could only be described as sensational. He and Antoinette are very well matched and I hope we will see more of them dancing together. Dreda Blow and Toby Batley as Sugar Plum and her Cavalier were wonderful together too. Dreda has beautifully elegant lines and Toby has a terrific stage presence and is a super-attentive partner. John Hull was a benevolent Uncle Drosselmeyerr. The snowflakes, flowers and national dances were all beautifully done too, with the snowflakes being particularly crisp. A cracking performance! When we arrived at the theatre we were thrilled to see some members of the orchestra singing carols. It made the atmosphere really festive before we even got in to the auditorium. 2 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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