Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Fitbit
Customer Review

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unconventional Nutcracker, witty, charming and a little naughty, 4 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker [DVD] [2003] [2001] (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.

Most people, I hope, will find themselves able to do two things: First, to greatly enjoy Bourne's take on this ballet; and second, also to treasure the more conventional and superb versions by Balanchine and Baryshnikov.

Bourne not only uses classic ballet, but Broadway, jive, sports and even burlesque. He's also not afraid to be a little scary. When the Nutcracker comes to life at the orphanage he has a frozen face that looks like a cross between Howdy Doody and Chucky. He lurches across the stage. In Sweetieland, however, everything that was unhappy and threatening has been turned to warmth and gaiety. The three helmet-wearing gobstoppers strut around like football stars in the end-zone, swiveling their hips and pumping the air. The licorice Allsorts do a tempestuous Spanish stomp that has Clara looking twice at where their hands land. Since everything is candy in Sweetieland, there's a lot of finger sucking and face licking, which might startle the grownups but would probably make the kids give a delighted "Eeuww." The whole thing is funny and a little naughty, but never so much that anyone other than the most prudish would be offended...certainly not kids.

This is Matthew Bourne in a playful mood. For a darker look, watch his "Swan Lake." Either way, he's an immensely gifted and original choreographer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Mar 2015, 12:29:55 GMT
Tanith Panic says:
Rather a naughty spoiler about the end for people who haven't yet seen this version. I know it's a wonderful moment (I've seen the production on stage already) but it works better as a surprise.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer

C. O. DeRiemer
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 9,149