Show must go on with Scottish Ballet and The Nutcracker

Family favourite The Nutcracker is returning to the stage this month as Scottish Ballet gets the show back on the road.

Originally scheduled for 2020, The Nutcracker made its long-awaited return to Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on  December 1 2021, but the rise of the Omicron Coronavirus variant meant that Scottish Government-imposed restrictions on indoor venues cancelled the scheduled performances in Glasgow and Aberdeen.

The tour was set to have a total of 74 performances across Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Newcastle and Belfast.

Following yesterday’s Scottish Government announcement that there will be no further extension to current event restrictions, Scottish Ballet are delighted to be completing their tour of The Nutcracker to Inverness (Eden Court January 26-29). The tour will then move on to Newcastle and Belfast in February.

The company of dancers have been rehearsing The Nutcracker and future productions and maintaining fitness levels at their headquarters in Glasgow during the restrictions.

The iconic Tchaikovsky score is performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, rejoining the company on tour for the first time in nearly two years.

Scottish Ballet’s version of this timeless classic continues to move with the times, with updates to certain characters, costumes and choreography.

A firm family favourite, this magical 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 in 2020 in place of the postponed tour and won ‘Best Dance Film’ at the National Dance Awards.

(Centre) Grace Horler as The Snow Queen in Peter Darrell’s The Nutcracker (Photo: Andy Ross)

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 4500 gleaming baubles.

he 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.

Christopher Hampson, CEO/artistic director of Scottish Ballet, said: ‘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.’

Tour dates are: Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, 26-29 January; Theatre Royal, Newcastle, 2-5 February; Grand Opera House, Belfast, 9-12 February 2022.

The performance lasts approximately two hours including one 20-minute interval. The Nutcracker is presented under license to the Peter Darrell Trust.

For more information, visit: scottishballet.co.uk