23 Nov 2016 – 7 Jan 2017


Milton Keynes Theatre

23 Nov 2016 – 26 Nov 2016

Box Office: 0844 871 7652

Book now

Liverpool Empire

29 Nov 2016 – 3 Dec 2016

Box Office: 0844 871 3017

Book now

London Coliseum

14 Dec 2016 – 7 Jan 2017

Box Office: 020 7845 9300

Book now

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The magical Christmas ballet for all the family.

Over 100 dancers and musicians bring Nutcracker to life with exquisite dancing, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky’s glorious score played live.

On a sparkling Christmas Eve in a frost-dusted Edwardian London, Clara and her enchanted Nutcracker doll discover a magical world, where she battles with the Mouse King and meets a handsome stranger. As the air grows colder, Clara and her valiant Nutcracker take a hot air balloon ride across London to the glistening Land of Snow where her adventure really begins.

From the sound of the orchestra tuning up, to the final bows and cheers, a trip to English National Ballet’s Nutcracker is an unforgettable Christmas treat.

Nutcracker returns in 2016 with performances in Milton Keynes, Liverpool and at the London Coliseum where over 73,000 audience members – young and old – made it part of their holiday celebrations last year.

The Daily Telegraph 

"Delicately charming"

Financial Times

“Christmas-card perfect”
The Guardian 

“This is now a contender as one of the best Nutcrackers around” 
The Daily Express


"A wonderful treat", "a brilliant day out", "dreamy" – read what audience members made of Nutcracker on Storify .



Running Time

2 hours 15 minutes including 1 interval


Clara’s bedroom
It is Christmas Eve; Clara’s family is having a party and everyone is invited. All the family is excited, especially Clara and Freddie who are looking forward to seeing their friends and Father Christmas. Clara is especially excited about seeing her best friend Charlotte whilst their mother and big sister Louise look on fondly. Outside people skate on the frozen Thames.

The Party
Dr Drosselmeyer, a rather mysterious old family friend, arrives. With him is his nephew, fresh from Military School. The guests arrive, presents are starting to gather under the Christmas tree and the children’s excitement builds. Dr Drosselmeyer introduces a puppet theatre, in which puppets perform to the delight of the guests. Louise and her three admirers are inspired to dance by the puppets’ performance. Dr Drosselmeyer presents Clara with her Christmas present – a Nutcracker doll. Clara is thrilled and begins to dance with her new much-loved gift. Freddie grabs the doll so enthusiastically from Clara that he manages to break it. In despair, Clara turns to Dr Drosselmeyer for help. He, as if by magic, manages to put the doll back together again. Clara is delighted and forgives her brother. The guests depart, the children go up to bed and the house becomes eerily quiet.

The Battle
Clara has a nightmare in which her Nutcracker is attacked by the evil Mouse King. The clock strikes midnight. Giant rats and mice led by the Mouse King appear as the living room undergoes a transformation. The Nutcracker becomes a dashing soldier and a battle between the two sides ensues. The Mouse King and his army are victorious and the Nutcracker is injured. Everything melts away to leave Clara and the Nutcracker alone as snow starts to fall.

The Land of Snow

The living room is magically turned into a winter wonderland filled with sparkling snowflakes. Clara dances with the Nutcracker who seems to be Drosselmeyer’s nephew. The Mouse King pursues Clara through the snow. Clara, the nephew and Dr Drosselmeyer escape in a balloon, flying across the glistening, frosty landscape with the Mouse King clinging onto the side.


The Puppet Theatre

The balloon lands beside the puppet theatre. Dancers from all over the world representing China, Arabia, Russia and Spain come to life and leap out of the theatre. The Mouse King is finally vanquished by the heroic nephew and a magnificent celebration begins. The dancers perform divertissements. The puppet theatre disappears to reveal a beautiful garden, amongst which dancers perform the Waltz of the Flowers. Finally, Clara dances a glorious pas de deux as the Sugar Plum Fairy with the nephew as the Prince. They are joined by all the characters from around the world.

Suddenly Clara wakes up with a jolt back in her bedroom. Freddie and Clara run outside into the snow to wave a final goodbye to Drosselmeyer and his nephew.

Choreography by Wayne Eagling
Based on concept by Toer van Schayk and Wayne Eagling
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Design by Peter Farmer
Lighting by David Richardson


Only one discount per ticket. Subject to availability.

Available on all performances and all price bands unless stated otherwise.

Up to two children (under 16) can attend half price with every full paying adult. Children under 5 are not allowed in the auditorium, except at Family-Friendly Performances.

Tue 3 Jan, 2.30pm & Sat 7 Jan, 2.30pm
Children under 5 may attend these performances, and up to two children under 16 can go free with each full paying adult.

20% off dress and upper circle seats, max. 6 per person. Call Box Office to book.

Book for Nutcracker and Giselle  (at the London Coliseum) at the same time and save 20%.

Save 30% per ticket. Valid Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (all performances) and Friday matinees. (Not valid on Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays). Call Box Office to book.
Accelerator rate: save 35% per ticket if booked by 31 July.

£5 off each ticket.

Two-for-one on top-price tickets (normally £79 per ticket). Call Box Office to book. Tickets will be held for collection.

Thu 15 Dec, 2.30pm & Wed 4 Jan, 2.30pm
£8 per pupil + 1 free teacher ticket per ten students. Available on selected areas only. For all other performances, the Groups rate and conditions apply.


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