I have never seen a ballet, a proper ballet performed on stage. My daughter has been taking ballet lessons since she was about 3 and I did myself for a few years when I was a youngster. Never to any sort of level but I really enjoyed it and so does Eva.
We have read the story of The Nutcracker but didn't really know much about it apart from it was set at Christmas time and was about a young girls adventures. I saw that it was coming to the Theatre Royal in half term so decided to make a booking. I gathered together some like minded friends and we booked up.
We went for the Friday evening performance and I started to look for somewhere, for a pre-show drink, that was happy to accept children in the surrounding area. Eventually we went for Las Iguanas on Grey Street. I have heard nothing but good about this place but never actually been. I have to admit that their 2-4-1 cocktail happy hour had a little to do with my decision.
We got the metro into town, I am ashamed to say that until that night, I had not realised that you get free metro travel into Newcastle City Centre with your theatre ticket. It is valid for 2 hours before and after the show and is a brilliant deal.
The cocktails were a great hit, well with the adults anyway, the food looked delicious, my friend ordered the loaded nachos and they were scrumptious. The staff were brilliant with the kids, even giving them balloons and festival masks for them to colour in. We were made to feel welcome and not a hindrance for having 3 young children with us. We have made a plan to go back one night (without kids) and sample a few more of those cocktails, and the food of course!
So onto showtime. We had quite good seats, the front row of the Upper Circle, this meant the kids could stand up if they like and weren't obstructing the view of the people behind. I have recently booked many tickets for Theatre Royal through their groups department and the help I have received has been outstanding, particularly Robert and Amy. They have great patience with my endless questions and queries!
The ballet was performed by The Scottish Ballet and it was simply beautiful. The victorian front room all set up for Christmas was stunning with its feature Christmas tree and the scenes in The Land of Sweets were breathtaking. Eva loved watching the wonderful dancing and the sparkling and colourful costumes made it perfect viewing for a transfixed little girl. It was also just the right length for a 6 year old, approximately 2 hours including the interval.
We had a beautiful evening and I can safely say that our very first ballet was a big hit!