A Christmas Carol

Northern Ballet Theatre at Norwich Theatre Royal

Christmas officially starts with this great Charles Dickens' classic, beautifully recreated by the Northern Ballet Theatre, one of the country's leading touring dance companies.

They produce a marvellously traditional piece, with few of their trademark gimmicks as they prefer to rely on faultless technique and a faithful interpretation of the Carl Davis score.

It's the third time that the company has brought the show to the city and this will be the final time that Jeremy Kerridge, one of the NBT's great stalwarts, plays skinflint Scrooge, as he officially retired in the summer.

He created the role more than 10 years ago and only returns for this week in Norwich and a grand finale in Leeds just before Christmas.

It's a tour de force for Kerridge, who is a rarity in ballet circles as a character artist but it is a delight to see his evocative portrayal of this great role.

At 40 – a big age for a dancer – he remains light on his feet and is as enthusiastic as ever.

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Hironao Takahashi as Bob Cratchit is one to watch while young Scrooge (Christopher Giles) and his would-be young lady Belle Fezziwig (Chiaki Nagao) pull at the heart strings.

Everything – set, music, costumes and cute children – combines to produce a delightful production where sentimentality is encouraged and the festive message of loving and sharing is hammered home.

The only bad news, bah, humbug, is that the week is a sellout so it's returns only – but you can look forward to the company bringing Swan Lake to the theatre in May.

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