Matthew Bourne's The Nutcracker

Sadler's Wells Theatre
Rosebery Avenue, London

Opens: 8 December 2020
Closes: 24 January 2021

Opens: 7 December 2021
Closes: 30 January 2022

Buy tickets: 020 7863 8000

Nearest Tube: Angel (allow for walk)

Location street map

Show times
Tue 7 Dec at 7.30pm
Wed 8 Dec at 7.30pm
Thu 9 Dec at 7.30pm
Fri 10 Dec at 7.30pm
Sat 11 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 12 Dec at 2.00pm and 7.00pm

Mon 13 Dec no shows
Tue 14 Dec at 7.30pm
Wed 15 Dec at 7.30pm
Thu 16 Dec at 7.30pm
Fri 17 Dec at 7.30pm
Sat 18 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 19 Dec at 2.00pm and 7.00pm

Mon 20 Dec no shows
Tue 21 Dec at 7.30pm
Wed 22 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Thu 23 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Fri 24 Dec at 2.30pm
Sat 25 Dec no shows
Sun 26 Dec at 4.00pm

Mon 27 Dec no shows
Tue 28 Dec at 7.30pm
Wed 29 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Thu 30 Dec at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Fri 31 Dec at 2.30pm
Sat 1 Jan at 4.00pm
Sun 2 Jan at 2.00pm

Mon 3 Jan no shows
Tue 4 Jan at 7.30pm
Wed 5 Jan at 7.30pm
Thu 6 Jan at 7.30pm
Fri 7 Jan at 7.30pm
Sat 8 Jan at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 9 Jan at 7.00pm

Mon 10 Jan no shows
Tue 11 Jan at 7.30pm
Wed 12 Jan at 7.30pm
Thu 13 Jan at 7.30pm
Fri 14 Jan at 7.30pm
Sat 15 Jan at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 16 Jan at 2.00pm and 7.00pm

Mon 17 Jan no shows
Tue 18 Jan at 7.30pm
Wed 19 Jan at 7.30pm
Thu 20 Jan at 7.30pm
Fri 21 Jan at 7.30pm
Sat 22 Jan at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 23 Jan at 2.00pm

Mon 24 Jan no shows
Tue 25 Jan at 7.30pm
Wed 26 Jan at 7.30pm
Thu 27 Jan at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Fri 28 Jan at 7.30pm
Sat 29 Jan at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sun 30 Jan at 2.00pm

Runs 2 hours including one interval

Seat prices
? to ?
(plus booking fees if applicable)

Matthew Bourne's The Nutcracker

Matthew Bourne's acclaimed production of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker in London for a strictly limited Christmas season

This delicious theatrical feast has family-sized helpings of Matthew Bourne's trademark wit, pathos and magical fantasy. Nutcracker! follows Clara's bittersweet journey from a hilariously bleak Christmas Eve at Dr. Dross' Orphanage, through a shimmering, ice-skating winter wonderland to the scrumptious candy kingdom of Sweetieland. Tchaikovsky's glorious score and Anthony Ward's unforgettable sets and costumes combine with sizzling choreography to create a fresh, hip and charmingly irreverent interpretation of the traditional Christmas favourite.

NOTE: This production was originally scheduled to play from 8 December 2020 to 24 January 2021, but was postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 situation.

NOTE: Some scenes may not be suitable for very young children. Children under 5 will not be admitted.

Matthew Bourne's much loved production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker! for The New Adventures Company, is one of the most popular dance productions ever staged at Sadler's Wells in London, and promises to be an unmissable treat this Christmas!

Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and devised by Matthew Bourne and Martin Duncan. Directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, with designs by Anthony Ward, lighting by Howard Harrison, and sound by Paul Groothuis.

Following two Christmas seasons at Sadler's Wells in 1993 and 1994, Matthew Bourne revised the show and brought it back to Sadler's Wells in 2002, since when it has played a further three seasons at here. The production was filmed for television, and was first broadcast in the UK on BBC One on Sunday 21 December 2003.

Matthew Bourne's London theatre dance shows include Bizet's Carmen renamed as The Car Man, Prokofiev's Cinderella, Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands, and Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray.

"If Matthew Bourne's candy-coloured version of The Nutcracker is less than the sum of its parts, some of those parts fizz like a sherbet fountain. This is ballet played as farce, performed at a riotous pace and presented like a grotesque caricature that leaves subtlety, beauty and magic at the door. Yet, there is no denying its snap, crackle and pop even as Bourne rewrites the opening by setting it in an orphanage where forlorn children in grey and brown are given Christmas gifts in front of visiting dignitaries only to have them snatched away as soon as the worthies have left... The cartoon choreography may not be to everyone's taste but the dancers are fabulous whether engaged in rocking-horse romping, madly nodding heads or the hopping, skipping, jumping routines that pass for dance in much of the first half... But it is the second half that Bourne's visual invention comes into full play. The national dances are performed by a variety of easily identifiable sweets." The Daily Express

"Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! has acquired a well-deserved exclamation mark since it first took the stage in 1992. Bigger, brasher and chintzier than ever, it goes to prove that pink is the new black and gaudiness is the new good taste... Always elegant and graceful, there's a sweep and a swoop to Bourne's revamped, super-camp choreography that recalls the Hollywood musicals of Busby Berkeley. This is especially true in the second half, when the ensemble mince and sway to the most famous and sugary music. But Bourne's other trademark is his saucy sense of humour, whether it be an orphan peeking up a girl's dress or fairies drifting through blue skies on a gigantic feather. Anthony Ward's design almost upstages the dancing, but is in keeping with a performance that it paints in loud, confectionery colours." The Daily Mail

"The production is a remix of Matthew Bourne's 1992 version and although the choreography is actually pretty thin and the dancing unusually ragged, these weaknesses are easily outweighed by the engaging story line, strong character playing and utterly delicious designs... Anthony Ward's sets and costumes are as witty and inventive as the scenario. After the glum greys of the orphanage, the second act is a dazzling extravaganza, as kitsch and sticky as a bag of dolly mixtures... Bourne's experience with Oliver! and My Fair Lady has made him an accomplished showman and he can deploy a large ensemble with enormous flair so that patterns will appear out of nowhere and evaporate without trace. His dances are packed with allusions to everything from Ashton's Les Patineurs to the Pogo and he will quote just as gleefully from his own back catalogue. But while this magpie approach is fine for the group routines his solos and duets can seem horribly underpowered." The Sunday Telegraph

This revised version has played four seasons here at the Sadler's Wells Theatre: previewed 20 November 2002, opened 26 November 2002, closed 1 February 2003; previewed 2 December 2003, opened 4 December 2003, closed 24 January 2004; previewed 13 December 2007, opened 18 December 2007, closed 20 January 2008: and previewed 6 December 2011, opened 14 December 2011, closed 22 January 2012.

Matthew Bourne's The Nutcracker in London at the Sadler's Wells Theatre opens on 7 December 2021, and closes on 30 January 2022


Original London Production 1993/1994

Opened 8 December 1993, Closed 18 December 1993 at Sadler's Wells
Opened 30 November 1994, Closed 10 December 1994 at Sadler's Wells

Directed by Martin Duncan and Matthew Bourne, with choreography by Matthew Bourne, and designs by Anthony Ward.

Commissioned by Opera North and devised with Martin Duncan as co-director, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker, for Adventures In Motion Pictures, premiered on 26 August 1992 at the King's Theatre as part of the Edinburgh International Festival for three performances (26, 28 and 29 August) in a double-bill with Opera North's staging of Tchaikovsky's opera Yolande (Iolanta, English translation by David Lloyd-Jones). The double-bill was originally scheduled to be designed by Howard Hodgkin but, due to artistic differences, he withdrew from the production and was replaced by Anthony Ward.

Following the Edinburgh season, the double-bill was presented at the Leed's Grand Theatre for a Christmas season in repertory from 18 December 1992 to 30 January 1993 (for a total of six performances), and was followed the following month by a three-week repertory tour that visited the Nottingham Theatre Royal, the Birmingham Hippodrome, and the Manchester Opera House.

The original cast featured Etta Murfitt as 'Clara', Andrew George as 'Nutcracker', Ally Fitzpatrick as 'Sugar', Scott Ambler as 'Fritz', Barry Atkinson as 'Dr Dross', and Rosemary Allen as 'Matron'.