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Scottish Ballet brush up Darrell's Nutcracker

Even as the Witch is tempting Hansel and Gretel with mouthwatering treats, the creative team at Scottish Ballet have more bon-bons in the pipeline with a revival of the late Peter Darrell's Nutcracker planned for December 2014.

First seen at Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre in December 1973, the Darrell Nutcracker claimed a special place in audience hearts with its opulent designs - by Philip Prowse - and its emphasis on a child's-eye view of Christmas. For while the grown-ups chatter and flirt, there are real children joining in the festivities and it's a little girl - not a ballerina - who dances Clara, saves the Nutcracker Prince and visits the Land of Sweets ruled over by the Sugar Plum Fairy.

"I knew, when I became artistic director here," says Christopher Hampson, "that I wanted to have something by the company founder, Peter Darrell, right at the heart of our repertoire. We're having it redesigned by Lez Brotherston, but it will keep the rich period feel of the original.

"We're asking people to get in touch if they were in any version of Peter's Nutcracker - especially if, like Michael Clark, they were one of the children. Every ballet company needs a good Nutcracker to hand. Peter's is not just beautiful, and full of wonderful choreography, it's part of our history and our foundation. I'm thrilled that we will be dancing it next year."

MARY BRENNAN

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