Another dose of sweet festive fare

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Still wrapped up in the festive spirit? Then look no further than the Theatre Royal, and Scottish Ballet’s seasonal show.

The company has taken The Nutcracker on tour across Scotland — and with over 40 years since the Peter Darrell (Scottish Ballet’s founding artistic director) version first premiered, it’s much-loved by audiences across the land.

The magical Tchaikovsky score follows young Clara as she falls asleep following a fun-filled Christmas party - and dreams of a Nutcracker Prince battling an army of giant mice.

The reward for helping the nutcracker? A visit to the glittering land of ice and snow, where snowflakes are living - and dancing - beings, and of course the kingdom of sweets, home of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Current artistic director Christopher Hampson explained: “I’d known about Darrell’s production of The Nutcracker when I was a child. The images of the hanging baubles in act two was in just about every dance book there was.

“It is normally the most performed work for ballet companies and needs to be something that will last for generations - Peter’s production has done that, but it needed to be rested so that it could be rediscovered again and brought back with a fresh perspective.”

Charged with giving the production a new lease of life is designer Lez Brotherston, adding layers of plush Victoriana and traditional festive fare - but still inspired by the original show.

Hampson added: “Those who have seen the production before will remember Darrell’s famous land of sweeties - that’s still there although my sweeties are slightly different, and there’s a version of the land of snow too.

“My interpretation of the house is also a little different and maybe there’ll be something special about the toys that the children receive as Christmas presents - you’ll have to come along to see.”

The production also includes 40 young people from across the country invited to learn and perform as characters in the final show - so there could be a few faces of the future in there too.

The Nutcracker runs at the Theatre Royal January 7-10, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm matinee on Jan 8 and 10. Tickets are £8.50-£36.50 from 08448112121 or atgtickets.com.