The Nutcracker

QB-Camilo-Ramos-and-Yanela-Pinera-in-Queensland-Ballet's-production-of-The-Nutcracker-photo-by-David-KellyAfter an abbreviated, Covid version last year, this beloved, Christmas time classic is back on stage in all of its gorgeous, joyful entirety.

At the mother of all Christmas Eve parties, central character, Clara Stahlbaum (Lou Spichtig) is gifted with a nutcracker to the envy of her awful brother, Fritz (Luke Dimattina).

That night, in her sweet dreams, Clara embarks on a ‘magical mystery tour’ which alas, commences with mice. The dashing Rat King (Vito Bernasconi) engages in a daring duel with the Nutcracker (Liam Geck). Upon victory, the Nutcracker transforms into a fine prince (Camilo Ramos).

Next, it’s off to the tasty Kingdom of Sweets, presided over by the divine Sugar Plum Fairy (Yanela Pinera). Yanela perfectly performs the lovely Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. My favourite musical piece in this context of Tchaikovsky’s works.

Music from the second act is probably more recognisable to the audience as excerpts they’ve previously heard and enjoyed somewhere else.

Across the Lemonade Sea and into the Land of Snow. Principals, Neneka Yoshida as Snow Queen and Victor Estevez as Snow Prince epitomise great Pas de Deux partnership. Victor is always a visual display of power, poise and excellent performance.

Craig Cathcart, seated beside me again this year, highly praised Neneka. When I asked him what sets her apart, he replied, “She’s an actress, a technician, filled with joy…” and more… It was immediately crystal clear to me that Cathcart’s words were heartfelt and the recipient was deserving of those descriptions.

I loved the international dance sequences. Vito Bernasconi was a standout, Russian Cossack dancer with his elevation and agility. Patricio Reve’s mighty, muscular legs are unmissable and readily recognisable..

I could write forever about this bustling ballet filled with wonderful characterisation and choreography… suffice to say, welcome back and well done!

The Nutcracker
Lyric Theatre – QPAC, Cultural Precinct, Cnr Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Bank (Brisbane)
Performance: Thursday 16 December 2021
Season continues to 23 December 2021

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Camilo Ramos and Yanela Pinera in Queensland Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker – photo by David Kelly

Review: Michele-Rose Boylan