Arts and Entertainment English National Ballet's 'The Nutcracker'

English National Ballet, London Coliseum

Agony &amp; Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet, BBC4, Tuesday<br/>Monroe, ITV1, Thursday

A documentary filmed behind the scenes at English National Ballet had drama, spectacle, and its very own Victor Meldrew

Romeo and Juliet, Coliseum, London

English National Ballet's Romeo and Juliet is hard work. Rudolf Nureyev, who created it for this company in 1977, could always squeeze in one more step, one more plot point, until he barely has room for his star-crossed lovers. The dancers pour energy into this Romeo, but they can't make it engaging.

The Nutcracker, Coliseum, London

Though English National Ballet's new Nutcracker is a long-awaited production, it seems to have been rushed on to the stage. It has handsome designs, Tchaikovsky's score and some strong dancing, but suffered a case of first-night nerves. Some dances were under-rehearsed; at least one special effect went awry. The production and company need to take a deep breath and calm down.

New Nutracker: A Christmas cracker

On Friday night the English National Ballet unveils a new Nutcracker, its 10th production of the seasonal classic in 60 years. Alice Jones drops in on rehearsals to discover the secret of its enduring appeal

The Bargain Hunter: Nine days left at Amazon

Amazon.co.uk has launched a "12 days of Christmas" sale, with savings of up to 65 per cent on books, toys, aftershave, watches and jewellery.

The Diary: English National Ballet; Jasper Joffe; Mark Wahlberg; Stephen Hawking

A dance to the music of hard times

It could be worse but the squeeze is already making itself felt at English National Ballet. "We're taking a 9.6 per cent cut, that's £485,000," says artistic director Wayne Eagling. "Or four weeks of touring. Some of the new repertory will have to be postponed."

Gounod Faust, English National Opera, London Coliseum

The twin themes of Science and Morality loom so large in the Faust legend that it comes as no big surprise that the American-born director Des McAnuff should be thinking of and alluding to Robert J Oppenheimer.

Cinderella, Coliseum, London

English National Ballet celebrates its 60th birthday this year, with a summer season of Cinderella. And doesn't the company look good! Michael Corder's choreography is full of classical steps, showing off strong footwork, clean lines and a sense of shared identity. At 60, English National Ballet looks happy and confident.

Carlos Acosta, London Coliseum

Star power will get you only so far. Carlos Acosta's name, one of the biggest in ballet, is the selling point for this evening of new works and debut performances. You'd be better off seeing him in almost anything else.

The hottest ticket of the summer (if you're two)

'In the Night Garden', the TV show hypnotic to children but unintelligible to adults, is to go on a &pound;1m UK tour

Swan Lake, Royal Albert Hall, London

English National Ballet's gargantuan Swan Lake-in-the-round is back, complete with dry ice, demon king entrances and a starry new prince. Vadim Muntagirov, ENB's boy wonder, made his debut at this performance.

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