Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

The festive fizz belonged to the orchestra

PUBLISHED: 10:29 11 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:29 11 February 2018

The Russian State Ballet of Siberia, accompanied by The Orchestra of the Russian State Ballet, at The Regent Theatre on Saturday February 10, with The Nutcracker. Picture: RSBS

The Russian State Ballet of Siberia, accompanied by The Orchestra of the Russian State Ballet, at The Regent Theatre on Saturday February 10, with The Nutcracker. Picture: RSBS

Archant

Review: The Nutcracker, Russian State Ballet of Siberia, Regent Theatre, Ipswich, February 9

There is no more seasonable a ballet than Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, but Christmas was several weeks ago now, and so that might explain the slight feeling in the early scenes of this production by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia that the fizz had rather gone off the festive bubbly.

One of the problems with any production of this ballet classic is that there is not much actual dancing in the opening scenes but a lot of exposition and general milling about – guests arrive at a German Christmas party sometime in the early 19th Century and the young heroine, Marie in Russian productions, Clara in Western ones, is presented with a nutcracker by her magician godfather Drosselmeyer.

At midnight, the drawing room is overrun by mice, and there is a battle royal between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King. When Marie saves the Nutcracker he turns into a handsome prince and takes her to his magical kingdom. Here the action is suspended for a series of divertissements from different countries to the well-known movements from the Nutcracker Suite. The ballet culminates in a Grand Pas de Deux which includes the famous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – in this production danced by Marie, who has, by now, donned a glittery tutu.

This is a touring production, so scenery is minimal, but the company have made a virtue of necessity, and projections are used to provide a colourful backdrop to the action, with clever animations that make the Christmas tree grow and mechanical dolls jump from an out-size dolls house. Snow falls in a wintry landscape as the snowflakes waltz at the end of the first half.

I could have wished for a little more menace in the battle between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King, whose costume was rather too cuddly toy, but the dancing certainly took off at this point. Sayaka Takuda and Daniil Kostylev danced well together as the central couple, and there were nicely done solos, especially from Yana Tugaeva in a variety of roles, including the spinning Russian doll.

For me the greatest pleasure of the evening was hearing Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score played by the company’s orchestra. They might not have been the biggest, and there were times when the brass slightly overwhelmed the strings, but this music seems to be in the DNA, and there is something thrilling in hearing a Russian orchestra playing one of their own.

JAMES HAYWARD

Comments have been disabled on this article.

After running the gamut of every possible emotion, the audience for Grow Up Grandad, will undoubtedly go home savouring their own individual and personal experience of the story. Performed by the highly skilled Gallery Players at the Sir John Mills Theatre, this delightful small cast play by Gordon Steel was premiered in the North East in 2015.

Jason Manford is bringing his latest live show Muddle Class back to the region next year.

The role of grandparents in our society is changing. Arts editor Andrew Clarke talks to Gallery Players director Steve Wolldridge about a new play which examines intergenerational relationships

Her sharp, wise crack humour had her audience in stitches with her one-woman show.

Colchester Mercury artistic director Daniel Buckroyd, the man who has championed Mercury Rising, the theatre’s £8.7 million renovation project, will be leaving in August to take over the running of the Exeter Northcott Theatre.

As a fan of radio comedy - The Now Show, The News Quiz, Round the Horne etc - I am sorry to say Radio Active passed me by when it was first broadcast in the 1980s (ahem...too young, obviously) so it was great catch the new tour at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds.

This is the third instalment in Jo Carrick’s engaging Tudor trilogy and the middle episode of the saga. The strength of Jo’s writing is that she can frame history-changing national events and anchor them in a local setting. She shows how Suffolk people lived through and dealt with changing times.

Everyone knows Danny Baker. Whether it’s for his radio career, infamous washing powder adverts, football programmes in the 1990s or his recent appearance on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Most tours tagged with a 20th anniversary label are showcases for sentimental trips down memory lane. Usually both performer and audience luxuriate in the hits from yesteryear but, what made Kerry Ellis’ 20th anniversary performance so refreshing was that, for the most part, her show was all about new music. The first half was filled with songs from her latest album Golden Days, which is a collaboration with Queen guitarist Brian May, and was a clear indication that Kerry is a performer who is looking forward rather than back.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24