The Nutcracker ballet in theatres at Christmas is to be expected. However this year British theatres are inundated with performances of the Christmas classic to the point that there is nothing else on offer. Sugar plums, sweeties and flowers are all a bit sugary sweet for those of us who have outgrown the colourful extravaganza offered by The Nutcracker. It’s all well and good for five year olds and ballet novices but where can balletomanes get their balletic fix?
Unfortunately not at the Royal Opera House as even the Royal Ballet have fallen under the Nutcracker’s spell, although it has to be said at least they will provide an all bells and whistles, sparkling production! Nor can we look to the English National Ballet to shake up the stale Christmas repertoire as they are relying on The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum to bring in the big bucks at the box office to keep them afloat in these turbulent times.
The Birmingham Royal Ballet are taking the travesty a step further by performing their Nutcracker in the o2, meaning the audience will be confronted with a riot of colour and miniscule moving figures and see little of the actual repertoire. Northern Ballet and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures are also joining in the nutty fun too.
Wading through the snowstorm of Nutcracker advertising, there is fortunately one major company breaking the festive mould albeit rather tentatively. Scottish Ballet are being slightly daring and choosing another Tchaikovsky classic – The Sleeping Beauty.
There seems to be two ways to deal with this crackers onslaught – either go to your Christmas ballet and give in to the festive fun or hold on till the New Year which promises to do out with the old and in with the new. Watch this space for 2012 must-see ballets.