The Nutcracker at the New Theatre Royal Portsmouth Review

13-31 December 2019

Reviewed by Kelly Dewey

We’ve just come back from seeing The Nutcracker and the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth and the whole family were blown away by it. 

The theatre was well signposted, parking was easy to find and there was a Sainsbury’s local just opposite which was convenient to get some snacks for the show.  Unfortunately, although I checked the website beforehand, I misread the information and thought the show started at 6pm as it did on the day before and the day after. Unfortunately, Sundays show started at 5pm and we entered the theatre 40 minutes into the show. The staff on the front desk were accommodating and showed us to our seats. We joined the show in mid song about sausages, looking back this was the first visit for Clara through many magical lands. We were transported straight into the swing of things, with beautiful colours and views pleasing to the eye. With beautiful costumes, backdrops and dances to look at we all sat there is awe of it all. Each land transported you along with all the right feelings. The cast were all upbeat, professional and each and every one was brilliant in their roles and sang beautifully. We followed the cast through lands of snow, fun and sweets, all visually pleasing with beautiful songs and good feelings. The end was very heart-warming where the family awoke on Christmas morning to Clara telling them of her adventures in search of the Nutcracker and we witnessed the endearing heart-warming reconnection between the two characters.

The play was a perfect blend of classic arts, theatrical playwright and a very slight hint of panto. All in all it created a very classic Christmassy feel, a feeling I’ve struggled to find this year due to a few factors in the outside world but inside this theatre tonight the magical Christmas feeling was well and truly sparked. The Nutcracker was well and truly on par with shows I’ve seen at the Mayflower in Southampton. At the end of the show they mentioned next year’s Christmas show which I’m eager to book if it is going to be half as good as this year’s production.

Towards the end there were comical songs about Santa where the audience could join in and let themselves go in the fun of it all.  

We all spoke about our favourites on the way home, I enjoyed the chemistry between the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King, their songs and dances captured the moment together with cheeky glances and lyrics. The Mouse King wasn’t unlike the character of Captain Hook that Johnny Depp played. Evil but funny and likeable at the same time. My 4-year-old liked the Sugar Plum Fairy and the ballet girls and my 9-year-old loved Mother Ginger and my husband was impressed by The Nutcracker and his vocal ability.

This was by far the best show we’ve seen in years, we left on a high and full of Christmas spirit. The children couldn’t stop talking about it all the way home. We were absolutely gutted me missed the start but will be booking for next year for sure and will not make the same mistake again.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £10 to £104 (booking fees may apply).

The Nutcracker is at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth from 13-31 December 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit or call the box office on 023 9264 9000.

New Theatre Royal, 20-24 Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, PO1 2DD | 023 9264 9000

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