For me, Christmas truly begins with a trip to see Northern Ballet.
And this year, with A Christmas Carol coming to Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre last week, it came early.
You don’t need to be a ballet buff to appreciate the beauty of the production, and nor do you need to sneak looks at the programme to follow the story – the best thing about Northern ballet’s style of production is that story telling is key to everything they do.
Scrooge, played by Ashley Dixon, was particularly mean as the hobbled-over old man beating his poor but dedicated employee Bob Cratchit, played by Kenneth Tindall.
But as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future came and went he transformed into an excitable pup, bounding across the stage as he organised a Christmas to remember for Cratchit’s family.
The big ensemble numbers were a delight to watch, especially at the end with Scrooge’s transformation.
But the smaller numbers too, such as those involving the Cratchit family, were just as spell binding.
And of course, it wouldn’t be A Christmas Carol without a cute Tiny Tim to bring a tear to your eye, played wonderfully by Oscar Ward.
The quality of dancing wasn’t the only thing to make your spine tingle, the special effects of the curtain of snow falling and eerie sound effects were enough to send a shiver down your spine.
Another aspect of the production I really enjoyed was who entirely different the three ghosts were. Christmas Present, played by Sean Bates, was a delightful, whimsical character, and Christmas Future, played by Matthew Broadbent, was enough to get you cowering behind your programme. Delightful.