I've only seen a few ballet performances, so I wouldn't call myself an expert. However, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker is magical, exhilarating, and a must-watch. 

The Christmas ballet has come to Southampton's Mayflower Theater for only a week, but the performance can be enjoyed all year round. 

Bourne's re-imagined production follows Clara's bittersweet journey from a darkly comic Christmas Eve at the orphanage, through a shimmering, ice-skating winter wonderland, to the mouthwatering candy kingdom of Sweetieland. 

With Tchaikovsky's magnificent soundtrack, Anthony Ward's exquisite sets and costumes, and Bourne's dazzling choreography, the show was a fresh and charmingly irreverent interpretation of the classic.

Before the ballet began, the entire cast took turns coming on stage to say hello. The comical introduction left me grinning from ear to ear. And that's how I knew that this show was going to be a really fun one. 

The show was divided into two acts, and the directors turned the once empty stage of Mayflower into a magical utopia. The costumes were spot on and the props were jaw-dropping. Spoilers alert: there was even a giant cake. 

And let's not forget the dedication each dancer displayed. I still can't get the performance given by Gobstoppers, Cupids, Marshmallows, and the Dross couple out of my head. 

While all the performers did their very best to entertain the audience, Monique Jonas, who took up the role of Sugar, stood out to me the most. She swept the Mayflower stage with grace and elegance. I have never seen a performer as energetic as her in my entire life. 

In conclusion, this show was a sweet treat that I'm sure was enjoyed by all. 

The show runs until Saturday, 2 April. Next up are The Carole King Musical, Faulty Tower, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and more. 

For more information, visit: www.mayflower.org.uk/