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The Nutcracker on Ice at The Winter Palace Theatre, Hyde Park

Published by: Kate Braxton on 25th Nov 2016 | View all blogs by Kate Braxton

When it formed in 2004, one of the key aims of the Imperial Ice Stars company was to take the spectacle and magic of ice dancing out of an arena setting and bring it into the comfort of a traditional Theatre. 

The Nutcracker on Ice is brought to us in the centre of Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland ‘theme park’ experience inside a 26m purpose-built temporary “polygon structure”. It is a highly laudible feat to have dropped this into central London, with its 7000 LED lights creating a giant starclothed environment, and one which I remained more interested in than the show itself. It is a cracker of a piece of production work, given the brief.

But The Nutcracker on Ice didn’t work for me. Condensed into a one hour show to appeal to audiences of all ages, we are seated on 3 sides of the ice stage, and no slips and trips go un-noticed. For me, The Nutcracker and Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score require grace and intimacy, the like of which are arguably impossible to achieve with the chance of a slipple on yer triple salko. And there was quite a painful-to-watch lady-tumble.

Not a bad overall experience, some nice technical moments with multimedia and lighting effects, a few (intended) flames and an aerial acrobatic scene. But if it isn’t quite for me, then is it for the kids? It’s just not how I would want to introduce my children to one of the finest ballet masterpieces that will ever exist. Somewhat irreverent, but fitting, perhaps, for a theme park. One to drop in for when you’ve finished with rollercoasters and gluwein, and you’re ready for a bit of an oooh and an aaaah. The English National Ballet at Milton Keynes is where I'm heading.

Dates: Friday 18th November 2016 – Monday 2nd January 2017 (closed on Christmas Day)
Times: The show is 1 hour long starting at 14:00, 16:00, 1730 and 19:00. There will also be performances at 12:30 and 20:30 on selected days. Check website for details.

Prices: From £11.95 (children) £15.95 (adults)
Online booking:
Address: Hyde Park, London, W2 2HU



1 Comment

  • Elaine Pinkus
    by Elaine Pinkus 1 year ago
    I agree, Kate. I reviewed it last year at the Royal Albert Hall. Yes, there were some ooh and aah moments but frankly I expected more. Not sure the young children really enjoyed it and I thought the reliance on technology was overpowering what was lacking in performance. Although not a purist, I think the classical Nutcracker or the fantastic Matthew Bourne take a lot to be beaten. Elaine
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