Thursday, July 7

Matthew Bourne’s The Nutcracker – The Lowry

It’s endearing, magical and delicious – all in equal measure!

Matthew Bourne’s The Nutcracker returns to the stage after almost 10 years delivering a show-stopping performance which engages all the senses and is a must see this festive season!

It’s fascinating to witness such a reinvigorated and new adaptation of this traditional ballet; the score remains traditional but the costumes, the sets and the stage presence makes it something totally renewed and fresh and anything but traditional!

I particularly loved the mise-en-scene of this reboot; starting with the stripped back – dark and cold orphanage for its opening scene and doing away with the grandeur of the traditional ‘throw everything we’ve got at it’ type of opening; it draws you in to the story and makes the transition to the bright and colourful scenes to come so much more unexpected as a result.

As a couple of oversized gifts are taken away from the orphanage Children arrive; the set appears to almost rip apart and with the help of some very clever special effects – we are transported to a Winter’s scene which creates a delicate and gentle section which is reminiscent of one you’d find in a traditional Swan Lake.

Picture: Johan Persson

The dancers are just phenomenal, and the routines are performed with such precision and grace. Their footwork is a testimony to their skill and the choreography of this production.

As we enter into the second half; the explosion of colour and whimsical charm is revealed in all its glory as we see Clara – leave the Winter’s Pond and enter ‘Sweetieland’.

At this point, the costumes, sets and even the hair-pieces are bright, bold and smile-inducing – making what I can only describe as a sugary overload for all the senses.

The subtle touches of humour are welcome additions and well received – a humorous humbug provides an entertaining and amusing scene as Clara sneaks past to enter Sweetieland!

Clara has a fantastic presence on stage, energetic and extremely talented – as can be said for the entire company.

As the show concludes and we leave the colour and dazzling heights of Sweetieland, Matthew Bourne’s production gives its audience one last sweet-filled moment after delivering a sugar-rush of a production throughout!

Verdict: Visually, Technically and Emotionally one of the best Matthew Bourne productions to date!

The Nutcracker continues until the 4th December

Reviewer: Max Eden

Reviewed: 24th November 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★