Though Matthew Bourne has always been noted as a choreographer who has challenged convention, the director’s reimagining of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker suggests he is more of a traditionalist than is otherwise made out.
“It wasn’t something that would have occurred to me, to do a full-length classical ballet at the time, but I loved the originals,” he says. “I felt like it wasn’t something I’d ever do myself, but I got this opportunity and I loved it so much that I ended up doing Swan Lake.”
Asked about the appeal of the Russian composer, he says, “I think the thing that appeals to me, apart from the fact that Tchaikovsky is full of incredible melodies, is it’s great storytelling music. It was actually written to tell a story.” Nutcracker! is as family friendly as you’d come to expect from a Christmas show, though by casting adult performers as children in the production, a suggestion of an “inner child” exists within the story that adults also relate to.
“Watching adult performers playing children makes you remember your own childhood and takes you back. It sort of makes you think about what it was like to be a child.”
Nutcracker!, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, November 29–December 3, 7.30pm (Thursday and Saturday matinees, 2.30pm), £15-£35, 0131 529 6000