Christmas is not cancelled, as adapted version of The Nutcracker goes on sale


Credit Sam-Robinson

Following last week’s sold-out performances of Lazuli Sky, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Repertory Theatre are excited to announce a specially adapted production of the classic Christmas fairytale The Nutcracker, which will run at The REP from 14 – 22 December 2020. Tickets, from £20, are on general sale from tomorrow 30 October at birmingham-rep.co.uk.

This new adaptation of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s much-loved production of The Nutcracker will bring the family favourite to The REP for the very first time. In a COVID-safe environment including socially distanced seating allocated to household or bubble groups only, we are able to tell The Nutcracker story in a way that is equally safe for the performers and production crew, on and off stage.

This Christmas, the full-length production of The Nutcracker will be shortened to an 80-minute magical experience that will retain all of the most enchanting moments and characters from the classic full-length show. The Nutcracker at The REP will whisk audiences from the heartwarming Christmas Eve party where Fritz and Clara meet the magician Drosselmeyer to the rousing battle between King Rat and the toy soldiers, through a flurry of Snowflakes and onto a journey to the Kingdom of Sweets where Clara meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and her prince - all accompanied by the cherished Tchaikovsky score performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. This special series of shows will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s original Birmingham Hippodrome production being created as a gift for the City in 1990.

The production will feature Peter Wright’s award-winning choreography which was adapted by David Bintley for the acclaimed production at the Royal Albert Hall. This new iteration will receive new creative direction from Birmingham Royal Ballet Director, Carlos Acosta and The REP’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley.

The Nutcracker will follow the sold-out run and World Premiere of Lazuli Sky that took place at The REP last week marking the start of a new on-going creative partnership between Birmingham Royal Ballet and The REP. Lazuli Sky was filmed at The REP will be available to stream globally via the BRB website from 1 – 8 November and is on sale now. By working together, Birmingham Royal Ballet and The REP are striving to find creative solutions to bringing live performance back to eager audiences and were amongst the first in the UK to achieve this. Will Tuckett’s new commission, Lazuli Sky, will also have a sold-out run at Sadler’s Wells to re-open the London venue (29-31 October). Birmingham Royal Ballet’s full production of The Nutcracker will also be performed the Royal Albert Hall this Christmas (30 Dec 2020 - 2 Jan 2021).

Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta said; ‘Following the fantastic experience of staging our first shows since lockdown at The REP, we are so happy to continue our collaboration with this very special version of The Nutcracker so that audiences in Birmingham and the West Midlands can have something to look forward to this Christmas. The Nutcracker is an essential part of our annual season and we can’t wait to welcome audiences back to The REP in December for this celebration.’

The REP’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley added; ‘It was wonderful to collaborate with Carlos Acosta and Birmingham Royal Ballet for the World Premiere performances of Will Tuckett’s Lazuli Sky - and a particular thrill to welcome audiences safely back to The REP for the first time in seven months. We are just as excited to reveal the next stage in our ongoing creative partnership as we bring a special version of The Nutcracker to The REP for the very first time. A visit to the theatre is an on-going Christmas tradition, and we can’t wait to share this magical experience with our audiences this festive season.’

This enchanting version of a Christmas favourite will be a fitting tribute to the company’s 30-year history, and one that looks to the future with hope and celebration. It is the quintessential Christmas treat for all the family.

This year’s Birmingham show will be specially created to enable appropriate social-distancing and to ensure the safety of all performers, technical crew and audience members. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s specially produced The Nutcracker at The REP is a magical spectacular live presentation for all the family to enjoy this Christmas. To ensure the performance is “COVID-safe” BRB will engage a second corps de ballet of extra dancers to perform the iconic snow scene, offering much-needed performance opportunities to students and recent graduates from Elmhurst Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School whose career beginnings have been impacted by the pandemic.

In line with current Government regulations, The REP has taken a number of carefully managed steps and precautions to help audiences feel safe and enjoy their chosen performance. The theatre has introduced a series of new safety measures such as socially distanced seating within household bubbles only, hand sanitising stations, temperature checks and additional cleaning. More information can be found at birmingham-rep.co.uk.

The REP will be monitoring the situation closely regarding government advice around performances in outdoor and indoor venues, with a number of contingencies in place. The priority, as always, will be the safety of audiences, performers and staff.

To coincide with this announcement, Birmingham Royal Ballet reveals a new look and feel for the company. The rebrand aligns with a fresh new direction the company is taking under Carlos Acosta’s leadership. Thanks to a grant from the Michael Bishop Foundation for this work, Carlos and Birmingham Royal Ballet's team worked with the award-winning NB Studios to better represent Carlos’s new artistic vision. A new website has also been launched - take a look here.

Press Release