The Christmas ballet but not as you know it

It’s February, we’ve got through the 321 day slog of January and we’ve just celebrated Valentines Day. It’s definitely been a moment since Christmas, but c’mon, I can’t be the only one still finding remnants of the festive period around the house?

And whilst over here, it’s mostly finding half-eaten bags of sweets, giant lollipops that no kid could ever finish in one sitting, rotting under some clingfilm or alllllll the toffee pennies rattling around unloved in a Quality Street tin. Boo to it all! But let’s imagine better.

Theatre is the stage, the place where the impossible, the fantastical and imaginary comes to life, And Sir Matthew Bourne’s dance company New Adventures are in Milton Keynes! So imagine this instead..

It’s February. Yes, your energy bills have just doubled and you’re in dire need of sunlight but you fou find a box of your favourite Christmas chocs in the back of a cupboard. You’d hidden them away to enjoy at just the right moment and then forgot about them. But you’re winning now. The kids are at school. Time to put the kettle on and unwrap the cellophane on the box. There’s no-one to stop you. YESS!

Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! is this.

Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! musically is every bit the stunning Tchaikovsky score that everyone knows. Yup, even you who claims to know NOTHING about ballet knows this score. It’s Home Alone, it’s TV ads, it’s filler music everywhere but mostly and originally, it’s the most mesmerising ballet music.

But if the Nutcracker ballet is quintessentially Christmas, then it can be every bit gilded and attached to a very middle-class image of Christmas, where toes are en pointe, tutus are stiff and nutcrackers exist all year round for one’s nutty needs.

But it’s not that. In fact there’s no tutus, no pointe shoes and yet it has all you need and more. Much more.

In this production, be prepared to experience the darkest setting for a nutcracker plot. Set in a stern orphanage, it’s Christmas Eve but the children do not look like they will be in for a very Merry Christmas.

As midnight hits and Christmas begins, so does the magic, like in any good Christmas tale.

NUTCRACKER by Bourne, , Director and Choreographer – Matthew Bourne, Designer – Anthony Ward, Lighting – Howard Harrison, Projection – Duncan McLean, Theatre Royal Plymouth, 2021, Credit: Johan Persson/
NUTCRACKER by Bourne, , Director and Choreographer – Matthew Bourne, Designer – Anthony Ward, Lighting – Howard Harrison, Projection – Duncan McLean, Theatre Royal Plymouth, 2021, Credit: Johan Persson/

This Nutcracker is dark, it’s sad and it hurts in places, but it’s also kitsch, its camp and it’s PINK!

You won’t know if you’re watching food you want to eat or feeling heartbreak you didn’t know you were in love with. You will have your mind boggled in all the right ways.

This is theatrical dance. It’s full of expression, emotion and it’s a captivating way of storytelling.

No matter what time of year it is, you’re in for a treat. So grab a ticket and some sweets whilst its in MK!

NUTCRACKER by Bourne, , Director and Choreographer – Matthew Bourne, Designer – Anthony Ward, Lighting – Howard Harrison, Projection – Duncan McLean, Theatre Royal Plymouth, 2021, Credit: Johan Persson/

Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! is at Milton Keynes Theatre 15 – 19 February 2022.

Tickets were kindly gifted by Milton Keynes Theatre but they have zero control over what I post, or say about the performance – that’s all me! Thank you for your support.