The Nutcracker

Royal Opera House

Tuesday 5 December 2017, 7.15pm

LIVE Ballet

The young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker doll. But the mysterious magician Drosselmeyer is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure. After defeating the Mouse King, the Nutcracker and Clara travel through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy treats them to a wonderful display of dances. Back home, Clara thinks she must have been dreaming – but doesn’t she recognize Drosselmeyer’s nephew? Peter Wright’s nigh-on definitive production for The Royal Ballet ranks as one of the most enduring and enchanting versions of The Nutcracker. With its festive period setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic, Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet has become the perfect Christmas entertainment, with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, sugar-spun music the most recognisable of all ballet scores. Loosely based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the ballet opens with a lively Christmas party, its Victorian setting captured in opulent detail by Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs. Wright’s choreography ingeniously incorporates surviving fragments of the ballet’s original material, including the sublime pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince. But in emphasising the relationship between Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, the production also gains a touching subtext of first love.


Peter Wright after Lev Ivanov


Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky


Sarah Lamb (The Sugar Plum Fairy), Steven McRae (The Prince), Francesca Hayward (Clara), Alexander Campbell (Hans-Peter/The Nutcracker), Gary Avis (Herr Drosselmeyer)

Cinema Info & Tickets

Production Information

  • Territory Rights: UK ONLY
  • Live Ballet Broadcast
  • Running time: approximately 135 minutes
  • Two acts, including one interval
  • Start time: 7.15pm
  • Encore screening Sunday 10 December 2017, 2pm

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