A Night with the Nutcracker


I never thought much of ballet as a young man. A perception of toffs, privilege and ‘odd’ people hindered my interest. It took an assignment to Moscow in my late forties to stimulate my interest; a wonderful theatre – warm and elegant with Swan Lake’s music and beauty – in a cold and ugly grey city. What a surprise it was and what an occasion. I became an overnight convert.

Last night, two weeks before Christmas, in the provincial Torch Theatre overlooking Milford Haven’s harbour, the ballet transported me to an Arcadian world of grace and beauty. We sat in winter coats, no Bolshoi vestiary in the Torch, in worn padded seats in a large featureless hall to gaze at the cinema screen showing images of the sumptuous Royal Opera House. The camera panned to show dark yellow walls, table top lamps lighting up boxes surrounded by gilt plaster scrollwork and everywhere London’s finest and richest patrons dressed ready for an evening of delight. Continue reading “A Night with the Nutcracker”