My daughter and I finally managed to tick something off our bucket list yesterday, as we headed to see the Varna International Ballet and Orchestra perform The Nutcracker at the New Wimbledon Theatre. We had this booked for a while now, so it was really nice to finally be able to go. We got dressed up, because why not, with my daughter wearing her sparkliest dress, and headed off to Wimbledon.
Luckily it isn’t that far from us (I really should head into Wimbledon more often). We parked at the Centre Court Shopping Centre car park, which is only a couple of minutes walk away from the theatre (as you’d imagine in a London borough, the theatre doesn’t have any parking of its own). The car park stays open until midnight, there are security guards and it is all lit, and only costs us £4, so a good place to park if you want to do the same.
The theatre itself is lovely, and Chloe was amazed at how fancy it was with boxes and the pretty paintings on the ceilings. One of which featured a unicorn, so you know, winning in her eyes.
Varna International Ballet and Orchestra
Our seats were in the stalls, on row H, so just under half-way back. They were really good seats, although Chloe did have to sit on both of our coats to have a bit more of a comfortable view. To listen to a live orchestra playing the music was amazing; they were so talented. The dancing itself was so stunning. I never did ballet myself, but Chloe does, recently doing Grade 2, so I have been learning about it all and loving it all through her.
The Nutcracker is usually quite a Christmassy ballet to go to, but I don’t think it was too out of place going now in February. It is a great ballet for a first ballet, whether you’re an adult, but particularly a child. There are some humorous parts, funny characters, as well as classic Tchaikovsky pieces of music that you’re sure to recognise. This definitely helps to follow along the story and to keep the attention of little ones. The characters are swept away to a fairy-tale world where nothing is quite as it seems. There are toys that spring to life, the Mouse-king and mouse-army battle with the Nutcracker Prince, as well as travel through to enchanted places.
I am in awe of the talent of the dancers (and the musicians). The dancing was just so beautiful and being able to tell a story through dance and music, rather than words, is really stunning.
Varna International are touring until the end of March in the UK, so there is plenty of chance to catch them performing in a show near you. I would definitely recommend it for a really lovely evening out. The prices of tickets are soo much more affordable compared to going to see something like a West End Show, so what is not to love?
Have you seen The Nutcracker before? It would be great to hear what you think.
*the tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.