Live Cinema Season

The Nutcracker (2016)

Recorded | Ballet

Running time: Around 2 hours 15 minutes, including one interval

The Nutcracker (2016)

The Royal Ballet celebrates Peter Wright’s 90th birthday with his much-loved production of this beautiful classical ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score.


The story

The young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker. 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 recognizable of all ballet scores.

Loosely based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the ballet opens with the lively Christmas party that is hosted by the Stahlbaum family, 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 emphasizing 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

Original scenario

Marius Petipa

Production and scenario

Peter Wright


Julia Trevelyan Oman

Lighting designer

Mark Henderson

Production consultant

Roland John Wiley

Performed by
The Royal Ballet


Boris Gruzin
The Sugar Plum Fairy
Lauren Cuthbertson
The Prince
Federico Bonelli
Francesca Hayward
Hans-Peter/The Nutcracker
Alexander Campbell
Herr Drosselmeyer
Gary Avis
Drosselmeyer’s Assistant
Luca Acri
Dr Stahlbaum
Christopher Saunders
Mrs Stahlbaum
Elizabeth McGorian
Clara’s Partner
Benjamin Ella
Kristen McNally
Alastair Marriott
Dancing Mistress
Christina Arestis
Johannes Stepanek
Fernando Montaño
Leticia Stock
Marcelino Sambé
Mayara Magri
St Nicholas
Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød
Mouse King
Nicol Edmonds
Spanish dances
Arabian dances
Chinese dances
Russian dances
Dance of the Mirlitons
Rose Fairy
Yuhui Choe
Rose Fairy Escorts
Leading flowers
Concert Master
Peter Manning
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

The Nutcracker Digital Programme

The Nutcracker Digital Programme

Digital Programmes bring together a range of specially selected films, audio clips, pictures, articles, features, news and information, as well as exclusives and updates, and highlights from the Royal Opera House website, YouTube, SoundCloud and Flickr pages. Features are added as the performances approach, to enhance your experience of a production.

Cast sheets

Cast sheets are available as PDFs

News and features

To find out more visit the The Nutcracker (2016) production page.