Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write a musical score for a ballet first performed in St. Petersburg in 1892 as The Nutcracker. It has since become a traditional Christmastime favourite.
The Nutcracker on Ice, set in the early 1900s, leaps into life with a magical, colourful, opening Christmas scene. The family of Dr.Pavlov, whose character is humorously portrayed and skated by Volodymyr Khodakivskyy, are hosting a Christmas Eve party, when the Machiavellian godfather of daughter Marie (the graceful and polished Marie Ignatyeva], Herr Drosselmeyer (hilariously played by Keith Chegwin of BBC's Swop Shop fame) arrives with a magical gift for Marie: a Nutcracker doll (Artur Minchuk). In a dream, her love brings the doll to life and leads to many adventures with an enchanted prince, king and queen mice, larger than life black and white cats and the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy (Yulia Ashcheulova), who dances in every child`s dream fantasy ... a kingdom of sweets.
There are magical scenes from Spain, China, and Russia that are dazzling, colourful and fun. The flying Arabian couple are mesmerising. Their polished, daredevil feats, breath-taking. When reality dawns, Marie discovers that life can mirror dreams ..!
The 26 strong cast of European, National Champion skaters spin, leap, pirouette and dazzle us through an evening of childhood nostalgia. We are treated to breath-taking acrobatics, gymnastics and special effects. And not forgetting 'Cheggers' flying feat, with fire and fireworks despite his limited skating.
Produced by James Cundall and producer/choreographer Tony Mercer, with music arranged by Tim A. Duncan, this delightful show with sumptuous sets and opulent, stylish costumes is a winner.
The Nutcracker on Ice runs at the Mayflower until 23 November.
- Vera Newsham