This evening saw a return to Sadler's Wells with Chris to see another Matthew Bourne creation - 'Nutcracker!'. And what a treat that was, a perfect Christmas present all wrapped up in shiny paper with a large pink bow. There was a lot of pink on the stage. And cakes. And sweeties. Yum.
It tells the story of true love (naturally) and its path is never smooth (o no it's not). The tale opens in Dr Dross's Academy for Waifs and Strays on Christmas Eve, a horrid grey orphanage that pays lip service to the festive season. We meet our heroine and Dr Dross's awful children. Then the Nutcracker appears and we're transported to a frozen lake for skating and snow where our heroine loses her love. She follows him to Sweetieland and his marriage to her rival and then ... ah well, you'll have to see it to find out what happens next.
After the grey of the orphanage and the white of the frozen lake, the fabulous colours of Sweetieland are a psychedelic lure to the eyes and the palette. The audience - including me - spontaneously erupted into applause at the sight of the huge wedding cake. I wanted to jump into it.
I loved the characterisation of everyone on stage, not just the leads, which is something Matthew Bourne always seems to pay attention to. The leads might be twirling away up front but the others are always up to something in the background so you never know where to look. I loved the two blond cupids in their glasses and stripey pyjamas and also Mr Nickerbockerglory with his hair of cream topped by a cherry - he was also very purvy trying to seduce our heroine and licking everything and everyone in sight. He was even in character when he came out for his bow at the end, which was a nice touch.
I couldn't help smiling and grinning throughout the performance, eyes agawp and fingers twirling my beard into dreadlocks. I *want* a battenburg jacket. And cake.
I loved it. It was sumptuous, a feast for the senses and a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas season.