There’s a reason why The Nutcracker is so popular – it encompasses all of the aspects that traditionally make a classical ballet magical. There’s the instantly recognisable music, a fairytale plot, enchanting characters and dazzling costumes.

It’s no wonder therefore that there was barely a free seat at the Theatre Royal last night as the Moscow City Ballet brought its production of this Tchaikovsky classic to its hallowed stage on a run that lasts until Wednesday 23 January.

The story, of course, is based around a Christmas adventure for Clara who is given a Nutcracker doll as a present from her godfather Drosselmeier. When the Nutcracker come to life, Clara is whisked away to the Kingdom of Flowers on an adventure that sees the Nutcracker Prince battle the Mice King and his soldiers. Along the way, the audience is treated to a cavalcade of dances from around the world and of course the presence of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Throughout the gorgeous grace of the corps de ballet provide every child’s dream of a fairy tale ballet dancer. The beauty of their synchronised choreography is beguiling, with a finesse and poise that can only really be appreciated through a live production.

Meanwhile, Ksenya Stankevich as Clara brings such a delicacy and joyous innocence to the part, her beaming face beautifully reflecting a child’s joy of the yuletide season. Dzimitry Lazovik, meanwhile, as the Nutcracker Prince, presents a stunning combination of athleticism and control that is a wonder to watch.

For the many children in the audience, this production of The Nutcracker is an ideal introduction to classical ballet. There’s a real joy to the production bound up in a fantastical story full of characters, adventure and magic. To encourage a new generation of ballet-going youngsters, the Theatre Royal is offering a half-price ticket rate for children attending with an adult for all performances of The Nutcracker.

Moscow City Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Theatre Royal Bath until Wednesday 23 January. Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or online at www.theatreroyalorg.uk