Really enjoyed seeing Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! on BBC4 over Christmas. I'd seen a traditional version of The Nutcracker in the autumn (my first live ballet), which I really enjoyed, but this was much more my thing. After the initial scenes, in a dingy orphanage, Clara is transported first to a frozen lake and then to Sweetieland, where she tries to follow Liquorice Allsorts, Marshmallow Girls and a salacious Knickerbocker Glory into a party but is repeatedly barred by an Mint Humbug bouncer.
A lot of the reviews I've read - specifically from dance journalists - criticise the choreography, but as I know nothing about ballet and have no special affection for it I wasn't looking at it from the dance angle. The dance looked great to me and the whole thing was a fantastic spectacle - colourful, funny and sexy (I nearly swooned when the Nutcracker took his mask - and his shirt - off, and gave Clara a smouldering look...).
The costumes were amazing - there were even a few frocks I'd wear myself... I'd especially love the Sugar Plum Fairy's pink dress (for formal occasions) or Clara's blue polka dot one (for a summer wedding?). I've gone a bit mad posting pics as I love them all - and there are more good ones here and here.
Designing stage costumes was one of the gazillion things I considered pursuing when I was at art college. I don't have a sweet tooth, but the colours, patterns and textures I'm most drawn to are very 'sweet shop'. Come to think of it, I did make some shoes which would have fitted right in to this Nutcracker. Ooh, it'd be lovely to be given free rein with a theme. Darn it, I need to find some up-for-anything mates with a band they want styling! Wonder if Scissor Sisters need a wardrobe gal?...
New York Times: Frankencracker? A Hero Toy Turns Monster
danceviewtimes: Characters and Cartoons: A Disagreeable 'Nutcracker'
Los Angeles Times: Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker
Ballet-Dance Magazine: Earth To Planet Nutcracker