True Spirit Of Christmas In A Nutshell

Magical memories are made at Christmas and Scottish Ballet’s wonderful performance of The Nutcracker is sure to banish those bah humbug Covid blues away – for a while anyway!

Apart from the obligatory face masks and the polite “excuse me’s’’ as everyone tried to avoid any social contact, it was life as normal, or as normal as it currently gets, at the glittering and sparkly Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.

The Nutcracker is a traditional story of sharing and celebrating time with our loved ones. And Scottish Ballet tells it so well using the 1972 choreography of the company’s founder, Peter Darrell, as a firm base.

The result is spectacular scenery as a backdrop to a special tale which is told with poise and humour by the dancers, much to the delight of the audience, who abandoned their normal theatre protocols for cheers and wolf whistles as the curtain closed.

In Scottish Ballet’s biggest tour yet, The Nutcracker will be performed 74 times in six cities across the winter and boy it’s one not to miss.

Clara in The Nutcracker
Chloe Macduff as Clara in Peter Darrell’s The Nutcracker – Photo credit: Andy Ross

The show stays true to its origins as it follows wee Clara as she drifts off to sleep on Christmas Eve and meets the dashing Nutcracker Prince, fighting off the dastardly King Raton along the way, before she finds herself in the Land of Sweets with the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy.

There is a nod to the ever changing world, with Scottish Ballet’s sustained commitment to anti racism in ballet, shown through subtle changes to its choreography, costumes and characters.

The Chinese and Arabian inspired dances have been updated to reflect modern attitudes and the enigmatic magical Drosselmeyer is played throughout the tour by male and female dancers.

Accompanied by the talented Scottish Ballet orchestra, the performance is spell bounding and beautiful and the dancing out of this world.

The company’s professionals have been joined by students from Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and it’s a joy to see the youngsters having fun and up to mischief as they help Clara celebrate Christmas.

Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker
First Artist Madeline Squire as Drosselmeyer in Peter Darrell’s The Nutcracker – Photo credit: Andy Ross

The performance is set in Clara’s house as her father The Colonel holds a party and there is plenty of luxury on offer.

Things take a turn when the aunts discover a boy begging on the street outside and they give him a sweet. Reality turns to magical mystery as Drosselmeyer transforms the boy into The Nutcracker Prince.

There follows some indulgent ballet of the highest order, exquisite music and fantastic colourful costumes and scenery, making the pre Christmas treat one to remember as all around us the Covid squabbles continue…

For more information on The Nutcracker tour, please visit:

Author Bio:

Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.

Photographs courtesy of The Scottish Ballet

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