Nutcracker returns like old chestnut

The Nutcracker at the Eastgate in Peebles.
The Nutcracker at the Eastgate in Peebles.
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The Royal Ballet beams into Peebles’ Eastgate Theatre again this Christmas, as Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is relayed live from London’s Covent Garden on Thursday, December 12, at 7.15pm.

“Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without The Nutcracker,” writes the Eastgate’s Liz Taylor. “From the very first notes of Tchaikovsky’s overture, a sense of mystery and magic pervades the theatre.”

She describes the story: “It is a Christmas Eve party and young Clara is given a nutcracker doll – beginning a night that includes a magically growing Christmas tree, a midnight battle of toy soldiers, an army of mice, a headlong pas de deux and a magical snowstorm.

“Whisked off to the Kingdom of Sweets, Clara and Hans Peter are entertained by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her glittering court in a series of dazzling dances. Performed by the Royal Ballet and broadcast live from Covent Garden, Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet never fails to delight audiences of all ages.”

Tchaikovsky’s score, conducted by Tom Seligman, contains some of the best-known melodies in ballet, from the flurrying sounds of the Waltz of the Snowflakes to the dream-like Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the vigorous Russian Dance. Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs draw upon 19th-century images of Christmas, making this a favourite, classic production for the festive season.

Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker was first performed in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, and its combination of enchanting choreography and an unforgettable score have since made it one of the best-loved of all ballets. Tickets cost £17, (schoolchildren £10). Contact 01721 725777.