London Coliseum
15 Dec - 07 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 by English National Ballet Philharmonic.

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 in the splendour of the London Coliseum is an unforgettable Christmas treat.

Thousands of audience members – young and old – make Nutcracker part of their holiday celebrations every year: experience its charms this festive season.

Friends of English National Ballet save 20% on tickets (T&Cs apply – see below): become a Friend today. 

A Christmas staple with its corps of shimmering snowflakes, mischievous rat army and a sprinkling of magic.
The Stage
Main image: Shiori Kase © Jason Bell. Creative Direction: 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, 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.



“Lovely and lively”
“A gentle, nostalgia-soaked amble through a traditional favourite”
“An unforgettable performance”

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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.

Friends of English National Ballet
20% off Stalls, Dress and Upper Circle seats, max 6 per person. Become a Friend today to receive your discount code.

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 the Family Friendly performance

Family Friendly performance
Saturday 7 January 2.30pm
Children under 5 are allowed to attend. Up to two children (under 16) go free with every full paying adult.

Book for Nutcracker and Swan Lake at the London Coliseum at the same time and save 15%. Not valid on £95 tickets.

Groups 10+
Save 20% per ticket. Valid Mon-Thu (all performances) and Fri matinees. Call 020 7845 9300 to book. Not valid on £95 tickets.

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

School Matinee
Thursday 5 January 2.30pm
£10 per pupil (in Balcony) or £15 per pupil (in Upper Circle) + 1 free teacher ticket per 10 students. Available on selected areas only. For all other performances, the Groups rate and conditions apply.

50% off all price bands.
Wheelchairs: £25 in price band A, £12.50 in price band B
Sign up to the London Coliseum Access Scheme here.

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.

Meet the principal cast

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Please note that casting is subject to change