The Nutcracker – A Very Adult Pantomime! ★★★ The Turbine Theatre | Nov 30 - Dec 23, 2023

Consumer warning! This show contains nuts. Showgoers should also realise that they may never see Tchaikovsky's ballet in the same light again. Carlie, the current incarnation of Clara, is going to have quite a holiday season. She has just broken up with her brutish boyfriend, Jack. Her father has died in a curious accident. Her mother is seriously stoned, and her brother is obsessed with the sex doll he's been given for Christmas. Things are looking neither very merry nor very bright for Carlie. Then, a creepy uncle gives her a nutcracker which magically comes to life and takes testicular revenge on the Andrew-Tate-admiring boyfriend. Joshua Coley has created a ribald and riotous riff on the usual somewhat saccharine plot of The Nutcracker that creates hoots of laughter. He also commands the stage whenever he appears. He's terrific both as Carlie's dysfunctional, pill popping parent and as the drug dealing Snow Queen. We also thoroughly enjoyed Theo Walker's precious Sugar Plum Fairy and rigidly romantic Nutcracker. Holly Ashman as the long suffering Carlie and Grace Whyte in numerous roles, including the creatively castrated Jack, both greatly contributed to all the absurdity. If you're not allergic to raunchy humour and inspired silliness, then put this panto on your Christmas list.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Danny Kaan

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