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Ended 12 Jan 2017 after 50 days

The Royal Ballet's production of The Nutcracker has a richly traditional air.

The Independent

Closed 12 Jan 2017

London's great holiday tradition returns!

In celebration of choreographer Peter Wright's 90th birthday, London's best-loved holiday ballet is set to return this Christmas. Follow the coming of age tale of Clara and her mysterious Nutcracker prince, as they defeat the wicked mouse army and journey to a fantastical world, where the sweet treats of the world are human-shaped and dance like a dream in her honour. Enjoy the stirring music of Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Snowflakes and fleet-footed Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, against a glorious Victorian Christmas background, designed by Julia Trevelyan Oman.


The story begins on Christmas Eve at an opulent townhouse, where a tree-lighting party is taking place. Drosselmeyer, local eccentric toymaker and rumoured magician arrives and presents the delighted children with a set of dancing, full-sized dolls! To Clara, the adolescent daughter of the house, he gives a handsome, wooden Nutcracker doll. Overjoyed, she dances with it, only for her jealous younger brother Fritz to grab it from her and break it by accident.

After fixing and nursing the doll, the party disbands, and the children are sent to bed; however at midnight, Clara sneaks downstairs to check up on her nutcracker; Drosselmeyer appears, and the Christmas tree grows to a magnificent size. Dwarfed by the tree, Clara is accosted by a troop of life-sized armed mice, who try to attack the surroundings. However, an army of tin soldiers appears and fights off the mice; led by none other than the nutcracker doll!

Victorious in battle, The Nutcracker (now a handsome prince) greets Clara, and summons a fantastical golden sleigh for an adventure of her dreams!


The sleigh arrives at a frosty forest setting, where they are greeted by dancing snowflakes, who point them in the direction of the Land of Sweets, domain of the celebrated Sugar Plum Fairy, who is awaiting them with a terrific feast. When they arrive, they are crowned as heroes for defeating the Mouse King and his army, and are invited to view the dance of the sweets; what follows is an extravagant set of dance vignettes from sweets the world over.

Additional Information


Opening night: 23 November 2016

Closing night: 12 January 2017


Suitable for ages 5+

Run time

Two hours and 15 mins (incl. one interval)

Show times


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