From Strictly Come Dancing to the Sugar Plum Fairy in New Theatre Royal's Christmas show, The Nutcracker

New Theatre Royal continues its recent tradition of bringing new versions of classic stories to the stage for its Christmas show.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 6:00 am
Sarah-Faith Brown as Sugar Plum Fairy. Picture: Sarah Standing (090919-5372)

Following last year’s Peter Pan, this year its the turn of The Nutcracker at the Portsmouth theatre.

It’s Christmas Eve in Berlin 1892 and the festivities are in full swing with the Stalhbaum family’s annual Christmas ball and magical inventor Drosselmeyer busy in his workshop making toys for children across the land.

Clara Stahlbaum is gifted a Nutcracker by her godfather, Drosselmeyer, and she is enchanted by the doll. But later that night, she tiptoes downstairs to find her living room filled with mice, the room has grown, and her Nutcracker has disappeared!

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Soon Clara is swept away with the dashing Prince Peter – together they must fight the evil Mouse King and set out on a magical musical journey through the lands of Snow, Fun and Sweets.

Sarah-Faith Brown plays the Sugar Plum Fairy: ‘She is, I would say, fruity. She has two personalities, one is very zen, the other very hyped up on sugar. She transitions between these two extremes, which is very comical. She also finds a love interest, but I’m not saying who! And she has a strong Yorkshire accent, which is very close to my native Teeside so that’s great to play.

‘I also play Prince Boris of Pirlipat, who loves his food. He has two loving parents but he is slightly dim. He’s fun to play but a challenge physically. His is a whirlwind of a scene, with an awful lot of sausage.’

And she’s loving being part of the show.

‘Being in a Christmas extravaganza like this is brilliant, its’s different to a panto, very musical. It’s spectacular, lots of fun, and very suited to all ages. It’s bright and magical for the children, with plenty of humour for the adults. I also have a wonderful duet that I’m very excited about. It will be great to do a run with such an amazing cast. Everyone is just so lovely.’

It’s also a bit of a change from her other job...

‘I’ve worked on Strictly Come Dancing for the last two years as an assistant choreographer. I work on group numbers with the pro dancers, and with celebrity and professional couples. Last year I assisted Ashley Roberts, from the Pussycat Dolls, and Pasha on their Halloween Charleston, then I worked on the group number for the Christmas special.

‘This year I assisted on the Halloween group special, for celebs and pros, and Emma (Barton – EastEnders star, originally from Horndean) and Anton’s musical theatre jazz piece.’

The Nutcracker

New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

December 13-31