Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Dec 3 & 6
At a garden party on a sunny afternoon,
Alice is surprised to see her parents’ friend Lewis Carroll transform into a white rabbit. When she follows him down a rabbit hole events become curiouser and curiouser...
As Alice journeys through Wonderland, she encounters countless strange creatures. She’s swept off her feet by the charming Knave of Hearts, who’s on the run for stealing the tarts. Confusion piles upon confusion. Then Alice wakes with a start. Was it all a daydream?
Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland burst onto the stage in 2011 in an explosion of colour,
stage magic and inventive, sophisticated choreography. Joby Talbot’s score combines contemporary soundworlds with sweeping melodies that gesture to ballet scores of
the 19th century. Bob Crowley’s wildly imaginative, eye-popping designs draw on everything from puppetry to projections to make Wonderland wonderfully real.
Alice encounters a cast of extraordinary and instantly recognizable characters, from the highly strung Queen of Hearts – who performs a hilarious send-up of The Sleeping Beauty's famous Rose Adage – to a playing- card corps de ballet, a sinuous caterpillar
and a tap-dancing Mad Hatter. But the ballet does not avoid the darker undercurrents of Lewis Carroll’s story: a nightmarish kitchen, an eerily disembodied Cheshire Cat and the unhinged tea party are all here in vivid detail. The delicious result shows The Royal Ballet at its best, bringing together world-class dance with enchanting family entertainment.
2:50 including two intermissions
Dec 24 & 27
The young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker doll. But the mysterious magician Drosselmeyer is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure. After defeating the Mouse King, the Nutcracker and Clara travel through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy treats them to a wonderful display of dances. Back home, Clara thinks she must have been dreaming – but doesn’t she recognize Drosselmeyer’s nephew?
Peter Wright’s nigh-on definitive production for The Royal Ballet ranks as one of the most enduring and enchanting versions of The Nutcracker. With its festive period setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic, Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet has become the perfect Christmas entertainment, with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, sugar-spun music the most recognizable of all ballet scores.
Loosely based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the ballet opens with a lively Christmas party, its Victorian setting captured in opulent detail by Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs. Wright’s choreography ingeniously incorporates surviving fragments of the ballet’s original material, including
the sublime pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince. But in emphasizing
the relationship between Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, the production also gains a touching subtext of first love.
2:15 including one intermission