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Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker!" 2003-4
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Nov 21, 2003 1:22 am ]
Post subject:  Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker!" 2003-4

Nutcracker! @ The Lowry
By Robert Beale for Manchester online

ODDLY enough, it is Opera North we have to thank for the novel twist on a traditional favourite that is Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! (brought to The Lowry by his present company, New Adventures).

They commissioned his original version in 1992 as part of a centenary project presenting the ballet as it was designed to be: half of a double bill with an opera.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Dec 05, 2003 10:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker!" 2003-4

Nutcracker! Sadler's Wells, London
A bit over-indulgent, but what do you expect from a Christmas confection?
By Zoe Anderson for The Independent

It can be strange to come back to a long-running show. Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! has become a regular Christmas treat at Sadler's Wells. It's the first of his revised classic ballets, made before the huge success of his Swan Lake.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Dec 06, 2003 3:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker!" 2003-4

By Sanjoy Roy for The Guardian

Marius Petipa, The Nutcracker's original choreographer, apparently considered its libretto "très bon". Most disagree - the action peters out in the first half, displaced by pure spectacle. But Matthew Bourne's reworking is as captivated by the story as by the display, and could be pegged as "très bonbon", as its gloomy Victorian orphanage gives way to a magical realm of candyfloss and liquorice allsorts.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Dec 06, 2003 4:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker!" 2003-4

By Allen Robertson for The Times

HATS off to Matthew Bourne. His Nutcracker! is the most enjoyable and clever staging imaginable. Originally performed in 1992 and revamped last Christmas, it is now back for yet another festive eight-week run at Sadler’s Wells.
Even though some of its initial deficits are still in place, Bourne’s version is now so sleek and so well oiled that they no longer seem to make any difference to the final outcome.

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Author:  Emma Pegler [ Sun Dec 14, 2003 4:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker!" 2003-4

The Nutcracker
Sadler's Wells
December, 2003

A thoroughly good evening. It is hard to do humour through the medium dance. It must be hard since there are so few successful examples. Yet Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker" truly made me laugh. Of course trying to recreate those moments is very difficult - you had to be there - but think of the overly dramatic Spanish dance in the real 'Nutcracker,' and then think of a deliberately unauthentic flamenco dancer flanked by two strutting Freddie Mercury look-alikes with black greased hair and moustaches. A good comic moment.

The first Act in the children's home, run by a sinister version of the von Trapp family, drags somewhat and is quite drab and monotone - everyone is dressed in shades of grey. The von Trapp family permits the orphans to have a few pressies that the rich patrons leave. They've creamed off the best gifts. The little girl who thinks there aren't enough presents to go round, takes another look into the basket and finds the Nutcracker. He is confiscated along with all the other presents but her wishful thinking turns him into a prince who bursts manfully out of the locked cupboard. The Nutcracker is quite robotic and stiff at first and has an Elvis hairdo. He warms up quite nicely and is transformed into a handsome chap with a nice well-toned chest. The orphan falls in love and they escape together.

The cleverness of the monotony of the first Act is revealed in the second Act when the curtain raises to reveal a pink powder-puff Kingdom of the Sweets - the contrast is delightfully cheery and one's fixed grin of approval doesn't waiver for the next 45 minutes. Bourne's adaptations always have a social utility. His 'Nutcracker' is a prince who, consistent with social convention, believes that he is better suited to the thin princess in the expensive frock rather than the poor girl in last season's number. He literally dumps our heroine. So, as with all such stories, you do not suspend belief as you would have to in order to enjoy the real 'Nutcracker', but rather engage in a "vote for the frumpy underdog" campaign. Thankfully, the thin girl in the expensive dress does not get the man. A lesson for us all.

Considering this is a pick-up company, put together for the season, the performances are well-rehearsed and collegiate. Every dancer treats his or her role with respect, however small, and, within the confines of the space and the nature of the production, there is some good dancing.

I highly recommend a viewing. Little people will also like it because there is plenty of colour and the performance is only 45 minutes each-way.

<small>[ 14 December 2003, 06:07 AM: Message edited by: Emma Pegler ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Dec 21, 2003 1:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker!" 2003-4

Matthew Bourne tells Nicola Christie his Nutcracker! is good enough to eat

“It’s Nutcracker, but not as you know it,” says Matthew Bourne of the confectionery delight that he is currently offering up on the London stage, and which comes to BBC One this Christmas. Marshmallows, Liquorice Allsorts, lollipops. Everyone looks good enough to eat. It’s what Bourne intended.

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Author:  sugar plum fairy [ Mon Dec 22, 2003 3:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker!" 2003-4

Oh my God. I saw this production of the Nutcracker on TV last night,and all i can say is i'm glad i never paid to go and see it!! The first act looked like something from World War II,with Drosselmeyer being in the Gestapo...that is the last thing you want to be thinking when watching what is supposed to be a ballet like Nutcracker.
I know it is supposed to be different from everything else that is on the go and that it is,but give me The Royal Ballets version any day. I prefer the story set long ago in a magical place , it is a kind of escape from the modern rush around this time of year that i need.
Can't wait to see the production of Cinderella on January 2nd by The Royal , sounds like it'll be a hoot.

Author:  monkeysraincoat [ Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker!" 2003-4

Matthew's Nutcracker! (in addition to airing in the UK on BBC over the holidays) will air on Trio TV (cable) here in the U.S., twice each on December 24th and December 25th.

It is also available now on DVD but only Region 2 (Europe)- you can get that through

Dani :)

<small>[ 23 December 2003, 09:04 PM: Message edited by: monkeysraincoat ]</small>

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