It’s not that I don’t like ballet – I absolutely do – it’s just that I don’t really want to pay upwards of £25 a ticket (and upwards of £102 on some days) if I want to see English National Ballet’s Nutcracker this Christmas. So it’s lucky that Granny loves ballet and has diligently investigated more affordable ways to see it (thank you, Granny).
As a result, on Saturday we took my two daughters to see Let’s All Dance‘s performance of The Nutcracker at Blackheath Halls, for the bargain price of £14 for my ticket, and only £10 a ticket for Granny and the kids.
Let’s All Dance’s website describes their version as ‘kid-size’ and I would agree. Not only is it shorter than the full ballet – reflecting a younger audience’s ability to concentrate – but the small venue means that everyone is close to the stage and can clearly see the dancers – no fancy opera binoculars needed here!
Using all the original music, and with very simple staging, they beautifully recreated the ballet. There are only six dancers, but I actually enjoyed the simplicity of it, as it makes you really appreciate each dancer’s every move. It certainly kept the young audience captivated (virtually every other chair had a little person in it sitting quietly and staring at the stage). Although, I have to say, my favourite parts were the set pieces with all six dancers on the stage.
Afterwards there is an opportunity to have your photo taken with the dancers, which is a lovely way to get the children involved.
There are more performances still to come at other local venues (see their website for details), and I was sufficiently impressed that I picked up a flyer about other ballets Lets All Dance will be performing in 2018.
Family-friendly prices, intimate venues, and performance tailored to a younger audience – that’s ticking my boxes!