Birmingham Royal Ballet have been performing Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, choreographed by Sir Peter Wright, since 1990. By the time the show reaches the Royal Albert Hall this Christmas on 28 December, it will be the BRB’s 546th performance of The Nutcracker, and the very first show of a brand new production.

The Nutcracker ballet, and Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, was premiered on 17 December 1892, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. At its premiere, The Nutcracker was considered a failure by the public and critics. Tchaikovsky died less than a year later, not knowing what a huge international success the ballet would later become.

Behind the scenes at The Nutcracker: In numbers

125 years later, you’ll see The Nutcracker in a whole new light this December, when the powerful choreography of the Birmingham Royal Ballet and classic score performed by a full orchestra, meets state-of-the-art technology. The Hall will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland, more vivid and immersive than you’ve seen before, with over 75kg of artificial snow, a magical transformation scene, and ground-breaking video projections from the Tony-Award-winning team behind An American in Paris and War Horse.

The new production features an on-stage cast of some 60 dancers, including 16 of the most talented young dancers in the country. An impressive 324 children (300 of them girls) auditioned for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to perform for thousands on the world’s most famous stage, and each show will include 8 young dancers.

Behind the scenes at The Nutcracker: In numbers

The Nutcracker will showcase over 200 stunning period costumes, the heaviest of which is King Rat – weighing in at 10 kg! it weighs so much you can’t actually dance in it, and with a heavy tail and cumbersome head it’s hard to see out of as well!

And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the show will also feature over 45 wigs and pieces of facial hair. The dancers will use around 500 hairpins per show – that’s a staggering 3,500 hairpins over the run of seven shows at the Royal Albert Hall.

Thursday 28 – Sunday 31 December 2017
For the first time ever, Birmingham Royal Ballet brings an enchanting production of this Christmas favourite to the Royal Albert Hall. This magical ballet, with its ravishing Tchaikovsky score, is the quintessential Christmas treat for all the family.