Liverpool and London
27 Nov - 05 Jan
2 hours
including one interval
The magical Christmas tradition for all the family.

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

On a sparkling Christmas Eve in a frost-dusted Edwardian London, Clara receives an enchanted Nutcracker as a present. Together, they 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 a puppet theatre comes to life with dancers from around the world.

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 following sold out performances in 2017 and 2018, when thousands of audience members – young and old – made it part of their holiday celebrations.

If you are looking for the best for your Christmas dance treat, this is it.
The Sunday Express
Main image: Shiori Kase © Jason Bell. Art Direction and Design Charlotte Wilkinson Studio.


Age Friendly Standards, Developed by the Family Arts Campaign



Wayne Eagling

Concept and Choreography

Toer van Schayk


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


Peter Farmer


David Richardson



Act 1

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.

Act 2

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.



“If you are looking for the best for your Christmas dance treat, this is it.”
“Always a treat at Christmas”
“Fully deserves its place at the centre of London's Christmas celebrations”

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Only one discount per ticket. Subject to availability. Available on all performances and all price bands unless stated otherwise.

Friends of English National Ballet
Opening night: 50% off price bands A-C when booked before 14 June, then £10 off.
£10 off price bands A-C on Thu-Fri performances (price bands A-B on Thu matinee).

Under 26s
£10 off Price bands A-C on Wed-Fri performances (A-B on Thu matinee).

£5 off Price bands A-C on Wed-Fri performances (A-B on Thu matinee).

School Groups
£10 per student on Wed and Thu performances, free teacher for every 10 students.

Groups 10+
£5 off Price bands A-C on Wed-Fri performances (A-B on Thu matinee).



Only one discount per ticket. Subject to availability. Available from the London Coliseum Box Office, 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 our Family-Friendly performance.

Family-Friendly performance
Sun 5 Jan 2pm
Children under 5 may attend this performance, and up to two children (under 16) can go free with each full paying adult. Please call 020 7845 9300 to book.

Friends of English National Ballet
20% off Stalls, Dress and Upper Circle seats, max 6 per person. Not available on top-price seats in the Stalls.

Book for two or more English National Ballet productions at the London Coliseum (Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, 70th Anniversary Gala) at the same time and save 15%

Groups 10+
Save 30% per ticket. Valid Mon-Thu (all performances) and Fri matinees. Call Box Office to book.

Students / Senior Citizens / Westminster Rescard / Registered Unemployed
£5 off each ticket

Under 30’s
Two-for-one on top-price tickets (normally £80 per tickets). Call Box Office to book. Tickets will be held for collection.

School Matinees
Tue 17 Dec and Wed 18 Dec 2.30pm
£8 per pupil + 1 free teacher ticket per 10 students. Available on selected areas only. For all other performances, the Groups rate and conditions apply.

Wheelchair Rate

Terms and Conditions
We regret that refunds cannot be given on tickets purchased, and exchange is subject to conditions and availability. English National Ballet reserves the right to make alterations to the programme, casting, dates, times, discounts and prices as necessary. Information subject to change.

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