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Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker [DVD] [2003] [2001]


Price: £17.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker [DVD] [2003] [2001] + Swan Lake [DVD] [2012] + Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty
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Product details

  • Directors: Matthew Bourne
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Widescreen, HiFi Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: CLASSICAL
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Dec. 2003
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000Z0HYE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,889 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Nutcracker! is Matthew Bourne’s deliciously witty and colourful version of the most traditional of Christmas ballets, with Tchaikovsky’s magical score at its heart. This box of treats is crammed full of his trademark saucy humour, inventiveness and a childlike sense of fun. Bourne’s Nutcracker-with-a-twist still follows the theme of growing up and first love – a coming of age story told through the dreams and nightmares of a young girl.

Matthew Bourne is one of the UK’s most innovative and popular choreographers. He has achieved world-wide success with his new versions of the classics, such as the ground-breaking Swan Lake, with its all-male swans, Cinderella and The Car Man. Last year, his Play Without Words for the Royal National Theatre received two Olivier Awards. He is the only British director to have won the Tony Award for Best Director and Best Choreographer of a Musical in the same year.

Cast:

  • Dr Dross/King Sherbert – Scott Ambler
  • Matron/Queen Candy – Emily Piercy
  • Sugar/Princess Sugar – Saranne Curtin
  • Fritz/Prince Bon Bon – Ewan Wardrop
  • Clara – Etta Murfitt
  • Nutcracker – Alan Vincent
  • Orphanage Governors – Philip Willingdon, Isabel Mortimer, Kerry Biggin
  • Orphanage Governor/Humbug – Ross Carpenter
  • Cupids – Valentina Formenti/Neil Penlington
  • Liquorice Allsorts – Vicky Evans, Richard Winsor, Paulo Kadow
  • Knickerbocker Glory – Arthur Pita
  • Marshmallows – Rachel Lancaster, Belinda Lee Chapman, Michela Meazza, Shelby Williams, Mami Tomotani
  • Gobstoppers – Lee Smikle, Adam Galbraith, James Leece

From Amazon.co.uk

One of his earliest pieces of choreography, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker is also one of his most charming and imaginative. Moving the Christmas party from a comfortable middle-class home to a Dickensian orphanage whose proprietors starve their wards to spoil their own children, it then shifts to a wonderland where sweets and sugar are a none-too-subtle metaphor for sexual awakening. In both worlds, Clara (Etta Murfitt) has to struggle to be heroine, or even a participant, in her own story and her struggle for the muscular, sexy Alan Vincent with her bitchy rival Sugar (Soranne Curtin) is not resolved until the last moments of the ballet.

Along the way, Bourne finds charming and sexy ways to make all of the well-known genre moments of the score fresh and new--the Chinese dancers are a bunch of daffy marshmallow girls in pink, for example, whose dance is all strutting cuteness. There is a truly stunning transformation scene at the beginning of the waltz, which like much else in the score becomes a complex ensemble in which all the character dancers have their own things to do. Bourne's Nutcracker has become a popular favourite, and deservedly so.

On the DVD: Matthew Bourne's Nutcrackercomes to DVD with no additional features. It is presented in a 16:9 anamorphic ratio and has sumptuous sound in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and L-PCM Stereo that does full justice to the Royal Philharmonic's eloquent performance of the score. --Roz Kaveney

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
There's more hip and tongue action in Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker than Tchaikovsky or Balanchine probably envisaged, but nevertheless the ballet is funny, touching, original and witty. More to the point, it remains charming and innocent while Bourne brings a whole new look and style to the old perennial.

This time there is no sumptuous family Christmas celebration or crowds of cute dancing tykes. We're in a dim, cold orphanage which Dr. Dross (Scott Ambler) and his wife, the matron (Emily Piercy), run with an unsmiling strictness. Their two children, Sugar (Saranne Curtin) and Fritz (Ewan Wardrop) are spoiled, snotty monsters. One of the orphans, Clara (Etta Murfitt), longs to escape. Magically, after a sad little Christmas party, a nutcracker doll (Alan Vincent) comes to life, rescues Clara and punishes Dr. Dross, the Matron and their children. Clara finds herself in an enchanted winterland. Then, with the help of two cupids in striped pajamas, she makes her way to Sweetieland, where everything, including the people, are made of candy. And here Dr. Dross is the smiling King Sherbet, the Matron is the beautiful Queen Candy and their two children have become Princess Sugar and Prince Bonbon. The Nutcracker, to Clara's wondering eyes, has become a handsome young man who looks much like the shy fellow who gazed longingly at Clara in the orphanage. After all the great Tchaikovsky dances, the party in Sweetieland comes to a close, and Clara finds herself back at the orphanage. It hasn't changed. It's as cold and barren as before. But then she sees waiting for her the young man. He ties a sheet to a bed, they toss the end out the window, and escape together.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grace Poole on 10 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD
I am a huge fan of the Traditional Nutcraker and have to admit that I nearly didn't watch this at all when it was on TV a few years ago. But watch it I did and really enjoyed it. So this Christmas I bought it and having watched it again, I do really love this version. The music is same as traditional Tchaikosvky. There are a few tweaks to the story but they are cleverly done and it doesn't stray too far from the original plot. What really makes this ballet fantastic is the sets and costumes. It is a riot of colour and literally makes you feel like a kid in a sweetshop!! It works on so many levels. As regards to children watching it - I really can't see much to offend. Ok there is ambiguity with hints at sexuality and there is a bit of gyrating on the giant cake but these are things which would probably go over most young children's heads. It's definitely a mood-lifter!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 13 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having loved Swan Lake and The Car Man, I found this Matthew Bourne production - the first of them - a bit less good. As someone else has pointed out, the scenes at the orphanage are all in shades of grey, with quite a lot of black, and given that this lasts about 35 minutes, it feels too grimy for a children's ballet, too depressing both visually and in its touch of Dickensian social realism - and for adults too. The acting is very good, but the dancing seems less developed - more secondary - than in the other Bourne ballets. He excels at storytelling, but this too feels stalled in the first act, and because there is no summary anywhere to be found, it is difficult to know what is going on from what we see (thank goodness for C. O. DeRiemer's review on this page). I also thought the costumes were less good than in other productions, either being unflattering in Act 1 or too pink and garish in Act 2. I have to admit that I have always hated Liquorice Allsorts, though, so I can't claim to be very objective!

On the plus side, the dancers in all the main parts are very charming, and some of the colourful scenes near the end, particularly those done in front of a giant wedding cake, are superb. Clara is very expressive, and the Nutcracker does look splendid in his shirtless costume. The three gobstoppers are also appealing, and there are many humorous touches. However I don't think it shows Bourne at his best, and the look of his ballets was enhanced when he started working with Lez Brotherston as his costume and set designer.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "rturus" on 22 April 2005
Format: DVD
Definately don't make this your first Nutcracker! Don't get me wrong, the whole thing is great fun and has some great comic moments and will certainly keep you (or the kids) amused. However, it is a LONG LONG way from being a "typical" ballet! If you are looking for "en pointe" then I must point you in another direction.
The DVD itself is my first stumbling point, there is NO accompanying material whatsoever. Chapter access is abysmal, you can jump only to sweetyland or the frozen lake for example, no subdivisions for any of the dances, variations etc. This is such a shame because you will want to watch Arthur Pita slither and squirm as the most decadent Knickerbocker Glory again and again (how he manages to avoid burning Clara with his lit cigarette I will never know). Clara is danced most delightfully by Etta Murfitt, Saranne Curtin is great as the spoiled and spiteful Sugar/Princess Sugar and Ewan Wardrop impresses as a very comic Fritz/Prince BonBon however Alan Vincent's Nutcracker seems vapid and without any chemistry.
All in all, an enjoyable exercise in contemporary dance but not a piece of landmark ballet, no matter what anyone says.
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