There is no better theatre show so quintessentially Christmas as The Nutcracker, so we were really pleased to be invited to the launch of the Nutcracker on Ice at the International Convention Centre Wales at the Celtic Manor.

Following sold out seasons at the Royal Albert Hall and the London Palladium I was really excited when I heard it was coming to Wales.   Having world class venues in Wales like the ICC certainly helps attract these world class productions.

This show is performed by the world renowned The Imperial Ice Stars from Russia with their version of the classic Tchaikovsky’s ballet of the little girl who falls for an enchanted nutcracker prince and visits a magical land of sweets.

The show was magical from start to finish as we witnessed a showcase of world class ice skating where the performers leapt, spun, juggled and performed extraordinary acrobatics expertly on the stage of ice.

Some of the highlights for me were the snowflake chorus whose skirts sparkle with fairy lights or the jaw dropping aerial routines in the second act. The children were enchanted with the story and its leading characters such as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the evil Mouse King.

There were gasps of astonishment from the audience when the magician character vanishes a cast member right in front of our eyes on the ice – and there was no trap door to be seen.  The look on the girls faces was a picture and I still can’t figure out how the production managed to do this.

I need to mention the stunning 1,500-tiered intimate theatre at the ICC – the seats are luxurious and there are no bad views here although I would recommend sitting in the stalls for the best theatre experience.

Overall the Nutcracker on Ice is a spectacular version of Tchaikovsky’s ballet that all the family will enjoy over Christmas.

The way they have managed to combine the clever mix of skilful skating, acrobatics, special effects and opulent costumes against a spectacular backdrop of colourful projections and fabulous storytelling is just magical.

This is one of the best shows that we have seen and the theatre at the International Convention Centre Wales is just as impressive.  I highly recommend getting a ticket before the show ends on the 5th January.

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