Live Cinema Season

The Nutcracker (2018)

Recorded | Ballet

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

The Nutcracker (2018)

A Christmas treat for the whole family and a classic with a special place in the hearts of ballet fans around the world.


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


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


Barry Wordsworth
Herr Drosselmeyer
Gary Avis
Anna Rose O'Sullivan
Hans-Peter/The Nutcracker
Marcelino Sambé
The Sugar Plum Fairy
Marianela Nuñez
The Prince
Vadim Muntagirov
Drosselmeyer’s assistant
David Yudes
Maiden aunts
  • Susan Nye
  • Caroline Jennings
Barbara Rhodes
Dr Stahlbaum
Christopher Saunders
Mrs Stahlbaum
Elizabeth McGorian
Fritz Stahlbaum
Amos Child
Clara’s partner
Luca Acri
Hannah Grennell
Alastair Marriott
Dancing mistress
Kristen McNally
Bennet Gartside
Benjamin Ella
Elizabeth Harrod
Paul Kay
Meaghan Grace Hinkis
St Nicholas
Joonhyuk Jun
Mouse King
Nicol Edmonds
Artists of The Royal Ballet
Spanish dancers
Arabian dancers
Chinese dancers
Russian dancers
Dance of the Mirlitons
Rose Fairy
Fumi Kaneko
Rose Fairy Escorts
Leading flowers
Artists of The Royal Ballet
  • London Oratory Junior Choir
  • The Schola Cantorum of The London Oratory School
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Concert Master
Sergey Levitin

News and features

To find out more visit the The Nutcracker (2018) production page.