Young get chance to shine on stage

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - STAGE -

ex­pe­ri­ence for the di­rec­tor – and not just be­cause she will be on stage.

“That Phoenix has reached this point is ex­tra­or­di­nary. The chal­lenge for me per­son­ally is to make sure that I also leave a legacy that will al­low the com­pany to con­tinue to flour­ish for the next 30 years.” FRESH from their tri­umph at the National Lot­tery Awards, North­ern Bal­let con­tinue their win­ning streak with this sparkling fairy-tale.

A charm­ing cur­tain-raiser for Christ­mas, David Nixon’s tra­di­tional favourite is pret­tily staged in the Re­gency pe­riod with fon­dant cos­tumes, whirling snowflakes and waltz­ing roses. Young Clara is whisked away in an en­chanted sleigh with her Nutcracker Prince.

Wide-eyed but blos­som­ing into wom­an­hood Pippa Moore is an en­gag­ing Clara, per­fectly part­nered by Ash­ley Dixon, ten­der and fleet-footed as her dash­ing prince. They are a pow­er­ful duo, which sadly was not the case for the Su­gar Plum Fairy and her Cav­a­lier in the vir­tu­oso fire­works of the Grand pas de Deux. French pocket rocket Julie Charlet was as ever light and daz­zling, fully in com­mand of the soar­ing Tchaikovsky score. But she was ill-matched with John Hull, whose part­ner­ing was a tad lumpen, de­spite the spec­tac­u­lar one-handed lift.

In the ear­lier bat­tle the Mouse King with his pinkbel­lied sub­jects al­most had us reach­ing for our hankies when van­quished by the Nutcracker and his hob­by­horse cavalry.

The rich red and gold pav­il­ion, like a gi­ant tea caddy, is a won­der­ful back­drop for the national dances, in­clud­ing a spir­ited Span­ish from Vic­to­ria Sib­son and fun Chi­nese ac­ro­bat­ics with Se­bas­tian Loe and Ni­cola Ger­vasi. A fes­tive treat to bring the child out in us all. AU­DI­TIONS are be­ing held for a youth the­atre group at the City Va­ri­eties Mu­sic Hall in Leeds.

They will fo­cus on mu­si­cal per­for­mance and va­ri­ety the­atre skills and are be­ing held on Novem­ber 21 and 22.

While the in­take of most youth the­atres stops at 16, the au­di­tions are open to any­one aged be­tween eight and 21.

Those in­ter­ested in au­di­tion­ing for the City Va­ri­eties Youth The­atre can book a place by call­ing Rachel Moyise on 0113 29 77 043 or email Rachel. moyise@leeds­grandthe­atre. com.

FES­TIVE TREAT: North­ern Bal­let’s pro­duc­tion of the pop­u­lar Christ­mas bal­let, The Nutcracker.

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