Ballet Review: The Nutcracker

Richard Lutz chats with eight year-old Stan about The Nutcracker at the Hippodrome.


I am sitting (writes Richard Lutz) after the opening night of Sir Peter Wright’s rendition of that famous holiday ballet gem The Nutcracker now playing at the Birmingham Hippodrome. With me, enjoying a post theatre J20 and a bag of popcorn is my colleague, Stan, eight years old and from Kings Heath, better known throughout the city as Southside Stan:

Me: Stan, simply known as Southside Stan, a happy lad after taking in this Birmingham Royal Ballet effort?

Southside Stan: Exhilarated, especially since the Baggies nailed it 2-1 against Ipswich on the same night.

Me: And how was this Tchaikovsky classic that seems to rear its sugar coated head every Christmas?

Southside: Loved it. I liked the way the dancers jumped really high and especially did scissor kicks.

Me: Anything else?

Southside: The fights between the toy soldiers and the rats were good. They had swords too.

Me: Any humour that tickled your Kings Heath ribs?

Southside: Well, I don’t know if it was supposed to happen, but when they captured the King Rat, his tail got stuck in the cage. But it was the jumping that I liked. Ronaldo would be good at ballet because he can jump. But as for Messi, I think he’s more of a sprinter.

Me: So would the cast of The Nutcracker be good footballers?

Southside: I’m not sure, though they’d have strong legs. 

Me: The Hippodrome have nice things to eat?

Southside: Good strawberry ice cream and great popcorn though a bit hard to open the bag as I watched the ballet.

Me: Southside Stan, it’s been a pleasure. Give my best to Kings Heath. Any last words?

Southside: Yeah, 2-1, West Brom.

Read Simon Hale’s review on this site.

The Nutcracker runs until 13th December. Tickets:

Richard Lutz was talking to Southside Stan, our 8 year old critic. Next week, another young reviewer  gives a take on Christmas shows. This time: The Wizard of Oz at The Rep

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