The Nutcracker

Date 12th December 2021
Society Parados Theatre School
Venue Parkfields Middle School, Toddington
Type of Production Musical
Director Bryony Reynolds
Musical Director Bryony Reynolds
Choreographer Ellie Cobb


Author: Nova Horley

I was delighted to attend the dress run for a new Society in my District, performing a new musical written by the Director.

I was made to feel very welcome, and enjoyed meeting the cast.  Parodos is a Theatre School for 8–18 year olds, and there was a nice mix of ages on stage.

As is usual with a dress, there were many technical things to be sorted, but I got a good flavour of the production, and am sure it will be very good in the final version.  The choreography I saw was suitable for the range of ages and experience.  An overall comment would be more animation and purpose from the cast, which I know will come with becoming more familiar with the venue.

The props were good, lighting looked to be spot on, and the costumes were amazing and colourful.  Each costume had been devised and made by the Director and Manda Fraser, with help in design from Oliver Reynolds.  I loved the attention to detail, the rich and diverse colours, beautifully designed and hope the young people appreciate what a privilege it is to appear in a specially written piece with costumes made for them.

I feel it would be unfair to comment on individual performances, as it was the first time on stage with this particular production, but I was impressed with Callum as The Nutcracker, great projection and characterisation, whilst Niamh was a lovely Sugar Plum Fairy and Freya was a commanding Godmother Drosselmier, both showing lovely voices.

I wish you all a very successful production, and hopefully I will be able to attend next time to give you a proper review, as I felt that any minor problems would be ironed out for the actual performance, so that the cast could give their all without any uncertainties which may have made them slightly tentative.

Thank you for allowing me to attend, and your hospitality, it was a joy to see young people really getting into the spirit of performance.