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Nutcracker recommendations please!


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I’m hoping I am posting this one in the right place…..I am desperate to take dd to see the Nutcracker in either December or January. She has been to 3 big West End musicals but amazingly has never seen a ballet which is her first love! (I know that’s quite terrible when she’s an aspiring dancer!!) We live in the East of England so I’m basically after suggestions and recommendations if any of you know which companies are performing it and where?! We will happily travel a couple of hours if needed. 

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We've seen Nutcracker several times - always in London (apart from when dd was in EYB's version). When dd was younger we always used to do London matinée after Christmas but still in the holidays. Royal Ballet's Nutcracker is absolutely beautiful, very traditional and with stunning sets and costumes. However tickets can be very difficult to get hold of and good seats are obviously more expensive than at other venues.

 

ENB's version at The Coliseum is Wayne Eagling's version which has a very traditional first act as the ballet is set in the Edwardian era, so the costumes are also beatiful. It's appealing to youngsters because in the ENB production Clara is a teenager at the party (and is historically danced by a girl from Tring Park) and is then danced by an ENB principal in young Clara's dream. The only gripe I have with ENB's production is slightly odd lighting in Act 2 and a couple of non-traditional dances (Arabian and Mirlitons) which seem a little odd if you are used to very traditional versions.

 

Tickets are cheaper at The Coliseum and will probably be easier to get hold of.

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Birmingham Royal Ballet's production by Sir Peter Wright is the absolute best, IMHO.  It's on in Birmingham from 22nd November - 12 December this year.

 

Northern Ballet's production by David Nixon is also an absolute delight but sadly it's not being performed this year.

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Well I love The Royal Ballets version but that does hold special memories.

Ballet Theatre UK are doing a production. Its an excellent company very suitable for first timers to the Ballet as their productions are only two hours long. The tour dates are on their website although Im not sure if there are that many shows in that area.

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Birmingham Royal Ballet's version by Sir Peter Wright is the best, as Janet McNulty said. The Royal Ballet's version is also by Sir Peter and is next best. I recommend either. Don't know Birmingham's dates but RB runs from 4 December to 16 January. But be quick - tickets for Nutcracker sell fast!

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Thank you all for the replies, I was thinking the Royal Ballet's version as it would be nice to either combine Christmas shopping before Christmas or sale shopping afterwards in London!.......But then the Bullring is fab for shopping too.....so we're spoilt for choice!! Sounds like I might have to make a decision fairly quickly though if I want to get tickets! I've just been explaining the story to dd and showed her a couple of snippets on YouTube, but I had to turn it off as she was getting too engrossed and I don't want to spoil it all before she sees it on stage! 

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If it is the RB version you're interested in then it's worth buying The Sun newspaper during November and looking out for the voucher to apply for Paul Hamlyn tickets. If you're successful you can get up to 6 tickets from £9.50 (max price £19!). The performances are usually a Saturday in early December so Covent Garden is beautifully decorated and really Christmassy, there were even reindeer to stroke 2 years ago! We have been successful for the last 2 years and it really is a fantastic afternoon/ evening. There are lots of activities and workshops organised for children at The Opera House too. :-)

Edited by Kitschqueen_1
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Thank you all for the wonderful recommendations! I'm really torn between RB and BRB now! Brilliant tip thanks Kitschqueen_1, but I'll be in performances myself from the beginning of Dec though to the 22nd so unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to make the most of that fantastic offer!! Will hopefully book in the next few days and will keep you posted when I have made a decision! Although it sounds like we'll be in for a treat with either of those two! I may even take along my own dance teacher as her Birthday/Christmas present! Will be a fabulous day out I'm sure whichever I decide on! 

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Yuhui Choe, classically brilliant as Sugar Plum Fairy with wonderful dance actress Leanne Cope as Clara[/quoteoo,

 

Laura Morera for me and Iona Loots as Clara if such a cast exists this time!

Edited by hfbrew
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BRB have reminded us on Facebook about a small film on the Hippodrome website about the set-up for Act 1.  It's fascinating.

 

http://birminghamhippodrome.com/mediacentre.asp?videoID=468&showid=1787

 

I am dreadfully biased but the transformation scene is the best I have ever seen bar none.  The very first time I saw this production, when it was brand new, the entire audience started cheering.  It still sends shivers down my spine when King Rat appears from the fireplace, and this is after over 20 years of watching it!

Edited by Janet McNulty
edited to show correct source of film
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I've seen several and would agree that RB and BRB the best (and son danced in both as a student at different ages). BRB's had the edge for me but if you live much nearer London then I wouldn't say it was worth the extra effort to get to Brum when your can see the lovely RB version.

 

I have to disagree with spanner (blimey, is that a first?!) about the cost of tickets being higher at the ROH - you can get some much, much cheaper seats there than any of the other theatres if you're happy to either sit a bit at the side or higher up - still having a great experience.

 

If you're having trouble booking tickets, keep an eye on the relevant section of this forum nearer the time - people often buy extra and need to sell them later.

 

Have fun

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That must indeed be a first! :-D

 

But you're right Julie - what I should have said that top priced seats at the Coli are cheaper than top price seats at the ROH. If the cheap seats at the ROH are out of the question for whatever reason - for example vertigo, inability to stand etc. then the Coli is cheaper for top price seats.

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Any of them are wonderful if your daughter has never seen the ballet before.  I agree with others that the Birmingham one is the best, but I am basing my knowledge on many years of viewing, and loads of different productions!

 

If London is easier for you to , then the ENB will be terrific.  The tickets will be cheaper than RB, and easier to get hold of.  You really can't go wrong, whatever you choose.  It is such a great Christmas ballet.    

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Clara,

 

Do keep an eye on local theatres too - Ballet Theatre UK bringing Nutcracker to Bury St Edmunds in November. Only a small theatre but have seen a number of dance performances here over the years and the view and atmosphere is always good.  

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