Live Cinema Season

The Nutcracker (2017)

Recorded | Ballet

Running time: The performance lasts about 2 hours 20 minutes, including one interval

The Nutcracker (2017)

A young girl’s enchanted present leads her on a wonderful Christmas adventure in this beautiful classical ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score.


The story

Clara is given an enchanted Nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. As midnight strikes, she creeps downstairs to find a magical adventure awaiting her and her Nutcracker.

The magician Drosselmeyer transforms the drawing room for a battle between mice and toy soldiers. During the battle, Clara saves the Nutcracker's life - so breaking a magical spell that turned him from a boy to a toy - and the Mouse King is defeated. In celebration, Drosselmeyer sweeps Clara and the Nutcracker off to the Kingdom of Sweets, where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and take part in a wonderful display of dances. The next morning, Clara's adventures seem to have been more than just a dream.


Peter Wright's interpretation of The Nutcracker has been enchanting children and adults alike since its first performance by The Royal Ballet in 1984. Lev Ivanov's 1892 ballet combined with Tchaikovsky's sumptuous, iconic score are presented in a festive period setting with vivid designs to make this a charming and magical production.

Loosely based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the ballet begins in the 19th-century German home of the Stahlbaums, where they are hosting a lively Christmas party. The period setting is captured in opulent detail by Julia Trevelyan Oman's designs, which include authentic Christmas tree decorations that are magically brought to life. 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, the production also gains a touching subtext of first love.



Peter Wright after Lev Ivanov

Choreography Battle Scene

Will Tuckett


Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky

Original scenario

Marius Petipa after E.T.A. Hoffmann

Production and scenario

Peter Wright


Julia Trevelyan Oman

Lighting designer

Mark Henderson

Production consultant

Roland John Wiley


Christopher Carr, Gary Avis and Samantha Raine

Arabian Dance adapted by

Gary Avis

Performed by
The Royal Ballet


Barry Wordsworth
Sugar Plum Fairy
Sarah Lamb
Steven McRae
Francesca Hayward
The Nutcracker
Alexander Campbell
Herr Drosselmeyer
Gary Avis
London Oratory Junior Choir
Concert Master
Peter Manning
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

News and features

To find out more visit the The Nutcracker (2017) production page.