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Your Reaction: What did you think of The Nutcracker 2018/19?

Audience responses to The Royal Ballet's Christmas classic, broadcast live to cinemas across the world on opening night.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

3 December 2018 at 9.53pm | 37 Comments

Press reviews:
Times (£) ★★★★★
Telegraph ★★★★
Independent ★★★★
Arts Desk ★★★★
Bachtrack ★★★★
Gay Star News (No star rating, but very positive)

What did you think of The Nutcracker?

The Nutcracker runs until 15 January 2019. Tickets are sold out, although returns may become available. A limited number of tickets are released each week as part of Friday Rush.

The ballet is staged with generous philanthropic support from Julia and Hans Rausing

If you watched the ballet in the cinema and experienced technical problems, please email details to

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

3 December 2018 at 9.53pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged Anna Rose O'Sullivan, by Peter Wright, Gary Avis, Marcelino Sambé, Marianela Nuñez, Production, review, Social Media, The Nutcracker, your reaction

This article has 37 comments

  1. Rusty Drewett responded on 3 December 2018 at 10:21pm Reply

    Watched tonight's performance in cinema in Torrevieja perfect . Merry Christmas everyone

  2. Karen responded on 3 December 2018 at 10:29pm Reply

    Another wonderful evening, Christmas starts now! Nela is the best Sugar Plum I've ever seen and I've seen quite a few. Congratulations Anna Rose O'Sullivan and Marcelino Sambe for a fantastic Clara and Hans Peter. What a brilliant partnership this is, hope to see them dancing together again soon. Thank you Royal Ballet for Gary Avis who is matchless as Drosselmeyer. I thought last year's cast was awesome but I think tonight's has surpassed it.

  3. Teresa Harmon responded on 3 December 2018 at 10:40pm Reply

    As with every year I was enchanted from start to finish. Bravo!

  4. Suzy responded on 3 December 2018 at 11:48pm Reply

    Spontaneous clapping and cheering in Faro, Portugal for the spine chilling performances.
    What a fantastic treat, thank you so much.

  5. Mimi Sellers responded on 4 December 2018 at 12:02am Reply

    Perfection heaped on perfection. Another keeper. DVD please. Sharing it with my daughter and 7year old granddaughter and we are all transported. What a magical evening. Thank you.

  6. Roger Taylor responded on 4 December 2018 at 12:32am Reply

    What a marvellous start to the Christmas season. We saw this at our local cinema in Swansea - what a treat to see the ROH performances around the country. Once again great performances from all the principals and the rest of the cast.

  7. VERONICA SHARPE responded on 4 December 2018 at 9:35am Reply

    My husband and I were entranced as we watched at Paignton and my daughter and granddaughter were at the cinema in Bad Kreuznach, Germany also. A marvellous way to unite a family for two sublime hours. Thank you to the Principals and all dancers for the part they played. Wonderful to see Sir Peter Wright come out for a curtain call.

    • Fiona Rosskopp responded on 4 December 2018 at 11:54am

      Hi Mum - yes it was great! Such a marvellous performance. Fi & Lucy in Bad Kreuznach, Germany.

  8. elleG responded on 4 December 2018 at 10:35am Reply

    The opening night (O'Sullivan/Sambe/Avis/Nunez/Muntagirov) was just about the best performance of The Nutcracker ever.
    Having a live relay to The Linbury was an inspired decision. The atmosphere was electric and many in the audience there were new to the ROH, the ballet, that ballet, and the artistic excellence on display. It seemed to embody everything that 'open up' is seeking to achieve and it was amazing to be a part of it. Thank you, Kevin O'Hare and the five leading dancers for coming to take a bow afterwards.This gesture was the icing on the cake and so much appreciated.
    There surely has to be a BluRay/DVD of a performance of this calibre. It was special in so many ways.

  9. María Raquel San Sotero responded on 4 December 2018 at 2:48pm Reply

    Hello from Madrid (Spain), I just saw "Nutcracker" live. There are no words to describe, the spectacle of the work in all aspects. That's great.

  10. Admirer responded on 4 December 2018 at 3:24pm Reply

    Superb, heavenly and wondrous talent . . . your dancers must be 'on loan' from Heaven! Am to watch every ballet now 'on screen' or 'in house' . . . thank you, thank you, thank you

  11. SMD responded on 4 December 2018 at 3:29pm Reply

    Avis fantastic as Drossremeyer party was wonderful some really excellent children and Clara. Sambe exuberant Nutcracker. Snowflakes beautiful, chocolate coffee and tea all brilliant Hamilton very sinuous, Trepak energetic, flowers graceful and rose fairy enchanting with the wonderful Nunez and Muntagirov topping off the whole performance with flawless excellence. A real joy.

  12. Pamela Harvey responded on 4 December 2018 at 3:39pm Reply

    What a wonderful performance - sheer magic. Thoroughly enjoyed seeing the film at the Odeon, Basingstoke. Can't wait to see it at the Royal Opera House on 11 January xx

  13. Georgina Strachan responded on 4 December 2018 at 4:05pm Reply

    bitterly disappointed to have missed this,as the satellite link failed and those of us in Northampton were deprived of this performance - not the first time we have encountered this problem! We consoled ourselves by reading all the terrific reviews.....

  14. Howell Isaac responded on 4 December 2018 at 4:34pm Reply

    These people were fortunate. Along with many others we booked seats at Fulham Vue only to find the live performance from the RON was cancelled due to "satellite problems". If this is so how did other cinemas screen Nutcracker. In 2017 the Fulham Vue screening was cancelled halfway through. Never again!

    • PJ Gross responded on 11 December 2018 at 9:22am

      I attended the broadcast at the Cineworld Wandsworth and the quality of the broadcast was appalling. Shocking that it was able to go forward when clearly there were issues. I found the broadcast of the performance appalling, too dark and the camera work was disgraceful...who cuts off the feet of a ballet performance when filming it? Why were there close ups of the faces? It's a ballet, not a drama. Satellite dropouts throughout. I don't understand. Very disappointed. Not the magnificent Nutcracker I know and love.

  15. Thea Stanton responded on 4 December 2018 at 4:35pm Reply

    Hi there,

    Will there be an encore of the performance filmed last night?

    Many thanks

  16. ruth phillips responded on 4 December 2018 at 4:50pm Reply

    A wonderful evening of complete perfection every single cast member was amazing
    We were watching from southern Spain
    And we were totally enchanted
    Thank you for an unforgettable evening

  17. jan responded on 4 December 2018 at 5:32pm Reply

    The best production. Please, please make this Christmas special with a dvd of this performance. Julia TO's set still looks wonderful and what a joy to see Peter Wright, give a little jump !! Nunez is such a magical dancer, a great asset to the company for 20 years. The chemistry with Vadim M grows with every performance. Thank you

  18. Michael Sefi responded on 4 December 2018 at 6:08pm Reply

    An excellent production but a little dark on occasion I felt - the 2016 DVD seems to have been a bit better lit.
    As to the performance, Gary Avis as ever superlative in the Drosselmeyer role. And Nunez + Muntagirov performed superbly, magically even.
    (Personally I preferred Hayward + Campbell in the Clara/Nutcracker roles in 2016 though.)
    I hope the full cast list can be published - the cinema handout only has the five main roles.
    The cinema (Windmill in Littlehampton) was packed out, and is showing the "encore" later in the month. For once the audience applauded fulsomely - often live feeds seem to be greeted in silence!
    A great evening for the Royal Ballet, sorry not to have been at ROH for it...

  19. Mrs Sheila Pash responded on 4 December 2018 at 7:47pm Reply

    A wonderful performance, the best ever. I have seen the nutcracker so many times,even when I was a child. I am now 82 , I so much wanted to go to ballet school, but was not allowed to “ Mrs Worthington.
    So I became a chartered physiotherapist qualifed in 1958.
    Dear Darcy Bussel,we all know was a wonderful ballerina,and l saw her dance at Polsden Lacy when she was a student, and I thought then she would go far.

  20. Miss Jayne chidlow responded on 4 December 2018 at 9:38pm Reply

    Absolutely breadth taking a delight to watch at cineworld shrewsbury on the big screen 3
    It was a real great start to the Xmas season and congratulations to the royal opera house for giving the uk this oppertunity to support the British arts
    And well done to our stars of the future Clara ( Anna o Sullivan ) Hans Peter / the nutcracker prince ( Marcelino sambe ) and wonderful commenting from former ballerina darcey busell x

  21. I have seen many Nutcrackers with different casts but I have to say this was the best I have seen. Everyone in it was on top form and the partnership between Sambe and O’Sullivan is one to be nurtured, both wonderful and with lovely chemistry. However, for me the evening belonged to Nunez and Muntagirov who can scarcely be bettered anywhere - the most amazing dancers at the peak of their game, with such a connection between them - and to top it off, they both looked as though they were having such fun! I cannot get over Vadim’s perfect technique and such soft catlike landings after those soaring jumps.

    Please, there should be a DVD, if only to preserve for posterity this amazing cast and heart-stopping performances!

  22. Jennifer Harral responded on 5 December 2018 at 2:53pm Reply

    Watched it in Bressuire, France - brilliant, dazzling, magical.

  23. Cordelia responded on 5 December 2018 at 5:20pm Reply

    Seen it lots of times over the (many) years and this was definitely the most enjoyable. Nunez and Muntagirov and wonderful together.
    Watching at the cinema gives you the opportunity to appreciate the whole production from the best angle.
    Love being at ROH but cinema is the next best thing.

  24. Diana freakley responded on 5 December 2018 at 7:08pm Reply

    Loved every minute of it . Have been to see 4 or 5 productions of this and I th8nk this was the best. Can’t wait to get the dvd now so I can watch it again.

  25. Polly Rose responded on 6 December 2018 at 7:38am Reply

    Disappointed with this production. Have seen the Royal Ballet dance this many times and I'm sure the company will continue to work on this over the coming weeks. Some dances were slightly out of time and need more precision. It was a safe performance apart from some Sugar Plum Fairy lifts which were a bit worrying.

  26. Rob Hawker responded on 6 December 2018 at 3:47pm Reply

    This relay was one of the best ever. The individual performances and the classic sets, with totally sympathetic conducting/playing.
    Nunez is breath-taking in her natural perfection and all on stage added to this great experience. Very glad that Cineworld on the Isle of Wight has provided ideal sound recently at long last.
    Hope this continues with the opera relays!

  27. Edilia Emordi responded on 7 December 2018 at 6:17pm Reply

    I love it. In the cinema at times it looked like the dancers were actually on stage in the long shots. I have seen many different Nutcracker ballets but the Royal Opera is always the best

  28. Nia Roberts responded on 8 December 2018 at 2:06pm Reply

    Will there be a dvd of this performance?! Loved it!!!

  29. Anthony Cardew responded on 8 December 2018 at 6:10pm Reply

    I saw a performance with Yasmine Naghdi, Ryoichi Hirano, Emma Maguire and Luca Acri. Brilliant! But why isn't Francesca Hayward dancing?

    • Alex responded on 11 December 2018 at 6:46am

      because she is currently not dancing with The Royal Ballet and will be away until late spring 2019. She is participating in the filming of the musical "Cats".

    • ML responded on 11 December 2018 at 11:51am

      Francesca Hayward (along with Steven McRae and Olivia Cowley) won't be in The Nutcracker or any more performances untill spring next year as they are all away working on a film. They've all been cast in the upcoming film version of the musical Cats, directed by Tom Hooper (who directed The King's Speech, Les Miserables, etc)

  30. Sally Hawkins responded on 9 December 2018 at 7:27pm Reply

    Wonderful performance, enjoyed at The Little Theatre, Sheringham. Impeccable audience behaviour too!

  31. (Mrs) Elaine Leach responded on 10 December 2018 at 12:35pm Reply

    We saw this enchanting performance in the cinema yesterday What perfection! We came away so uplifted. Unfortunately we could not take our granddaughter as she lives too far away but would very much like to give her a DVD of this performance which we were told was available
    . How do we get hold of a copy as your recommended copies are of other performances.

  32. Sílvia responded on 10 December 2018 at 7:48pm Reply

    Thank you, Roh, for giving us the chance to witness this performance. Nela's performance transcended perfection (as usual).

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