The Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker is the quintessential Christmas ballet and Peter Wright's much-loved production has been in The Royal Ballet's repertory for more than 30 years. Indeed, this performance celebrated Wright’s 90th birthday and what a cast was gathered for the occasion. Lauren Cuthbertson and Federico Bonelli dance as the exquisite Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince; Francesca Hayward and Alexander Campbell take the roles of Clara and the Nutcracker; and Gary Avis is the mysterious, kindly Drosselmeyer. With sumptuous period designs, spellbinding stage effects and of course Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, The Nutcracker continues to enchant audiences of all ages.
"Francesca Hayward dances like a dream child as Clara, expressive, musical and guileless and is ably partnered by Alexander Campbell as Hans-Peter." The Stage
"Hayward’s Clara is gorgeously spontaneous... Her dancing has a windblown lightness, with flowing line and nuanced musical phrasing. She’s matched by Alexander Campbell as the Nutcracker. Their duet has a delightful sense of discovery. It’s as if the soaring jumps were powered by their excitement at the new world they find themselves in. As the Sugar Plum Fairy, Lauren Cuthbertson shows a new polish, with elegant long limbs and neat feet. As her prince, Federico Bonelli is an attentive partner, and dances his solo with dash." The Independent
"This is all the more so when you have a Clara and a Hans-Peter/Nutcracker of the calibre of Francesca Hayward and Alexander Campbell. Both recently promoted to principal, they make an enchanting couple, both exceptionally light on their feet and attentive to the score, their characters very much wrapped up in each other. As for Herr Drosselmeyer, the enigmatic magician who drives the entire plot, no one can swish a turquoise cape quite like Gary Avis: this masterful dancer-actor lends pompous exactitude, wittily theatrical flamboyance and cast-iron authority to this vital part." The Daily Telegraph
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