Nutcracker ★★★★ Southbank Centre’s Tuff Nutt Jazz Club | Until January 6, 2024


Time to create a new Christmas tradition! This updated, jazz version of Tchaikovsky's classic ballet is definitely worth adding to the annual entertainment list. In Drew McOnie's contemporary interpretation Clara becomes Clive, and his youthful imagination is much more engaged by a sugar plum fairy doll than by his father's gift of an action man figure. Distressed by his father's incomprehension of his preferences, Clive falls asleep, and it is then that he encounters an enchanted realm which allows him to escape and to experience life outside the stifling simplification of the binary quotidian reality. McOnie's charming tale inventively blends classic and modern dance movement and is beautifully underpinned by Cassie Kinoshi's lively reimagining of the Tchaikovsky score. While the energy and power of the ensemble is quite impressive it is the fluidity and prowess that Mark Samaras brings to the role of Clive that is quite mesmerising. His virtuosity is only matched by Amonik Melaco as Action Man and their pas de deux moments are thoroughly magical. Patricia Zhou as Sugar Plum also puts in an impressive performance, capturing all the ethereal and enchanting power of Clive's aspiration. McOnie has done a splendid job of respecting the source of his inspiration while not being bound by it. Here's fresh context and clever reinterpretation of the standard work that should stand on its own to become a beloved seasonal favourite.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Mark Senior

Want to save on tickets? See our Tips page.

When, Where, Getting there:

Most Popular

The Sorcerer ★★★★★ Wilton's Music Hall | June 11 - 15, 2024

Fun at the Beach Romp-Bomp-A-Lomp!! ★★★★ Southwark Playhouse, Borough | May 24 - Jun 22, 2024

Heathers The Musical ★★★★ @sohoplace | Until July 6, 2024

St. Martin in-the-fields: Lunchtime Concerts ★★★★ FREE

Suite in Three Keys ★★★★★ Orange Tree Theatre | May 24 - Jul 6, 2024

Guys & Dolls ★★★★★ Bridge Theatre | Until January 4, 2025

Three Men in a Boat ★★★★ The Mill at Sonning | Jun 6 - Jul 13, 2024

Beyond Fashion ★★★★ Saatchi Gallery | May 31 - Sep 8, 2024

Discover Degas & Miss La La ★★★★ The National Gallery | Jun 6 - Sep 1, 2024 (Free Entry)

No Love Songs ★★★★ Southwark Playhouse, Elephant | June 4 - 15, 2024

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings