Originally choreographed by Scottish Ballet founder, Peter Darrell, in 1972, Scottish Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ was re-imagined in 2014 by CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, working with multi-award-winning Designer Lez Brotherson. It includes unforgettable scenes such as on-stage snow, a whirling Victorian Christmas party, and a mesmerizing duet in front of a wall of 4,500 gleaming baubles.
This magical, family favourite adventure takes audiences on a journey through the worlds of a child’s imagination. It follows wee Clara, as she drifts off to sleep on Christmas Eve and meets the dashing Nutcracker Prince, fights off the larger-than-life Rat King, and is welcomed into the Land of Sweets by the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy.
The much-loved Tchaikovsky score will be performed live in all its glory by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, returning to accompany the company on tour again for the first time since the pandemic. The orchestra made a special recording of ‘The Nutcracker’ score as part of Scottish Ballet’s first feature film, The Secret Theatre, which was released last Christmas in place of the postponed tour and won ‘Best Dance Film’ at the National Dance Awards.
This major tour will encompass 74 performances across six cities, featuring the full Scottish Ballet company and orchestra alongside ballet students in training from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, as well as a cast of 40 children drawn from across Scotland who will feature as Clara, her brother Fritz, and other roles.
Christopher Hampson, CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, said: “’The Nutcracker’ holds such a special place in our Christmas traditions, and we are delighted to be able to share this magical production again and create new memories for our audiences. This tour will be particularly special as we are re-joined by our wonderful Scottish Ballet Orchestra at long last.
“I am grateful for the support of the Peter Darrell Trust in ensuring that we keep this production alive and relevant for all our audiences, now and in the future.”
Chloe Macduff (aged 12), who is one of five young dancers playing Clara, said: “I went to see ‘The Nutcracker’ when I was 7 with my Granny and my wee sister for Granny’s birthday. I really loved it and dreamed that I would dance on the stage one day. The Nutcracker is so colourful and full of joy, especially the party scene, because I love the costumes and seeing everyone dance together.
“I’m soooo excited to perform with Scottish Ballet and meet all the principal dancers, and can’t wait to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy!”
Fiona Gibson, Chief Executive of Capital Theatres said: “Christmas at Capital Theatres wouldn’t be the same without Scottish Ballet’s sparkling festive treat among our holiday delights! ‘The Nutcracker’ is such a classic and stunning ballet and we’re all looking forward to welcoming the company back to Festival Theatre for the whole of December this year to bring our audiences of all ages a huge dose of magic, sparkle and joy.”
‘The Nutcracker’ is a timeless festive story that has delighted audiences around the world for over a century. As part of the Company’s sustained commitment to drive anti-racism in ballet, and to ensure it remains relevant today and for the future, Scottish Ballet continues to make subtle but important changes to some of the characters, costumes and choreography.
Following ongoing consultancy, the Chinese and Arabian-inspired divertissements in the Land of Sweets will have updated costumes and choreography to remove elements of caricature and better represent the culture and traditions which have inspired them. The enigmatic magician, Drosselmeyer, will, in this tour, be played by both male and female dancers.
Scottish Tour Dates –
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh 1-31 December 2021
Theatre Royal, Glasgow 5-15 January 2022
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen 19-22 January 2022
Eden Court Theatre, Inverness 26-29 January 2022