We are thrilled to announce that we will be bringing festive family favourite The Nutcracker to the stage this winter in our largest ever tour, which will commence in December and encompass 74 performances across six cities.

This timeless ballet follows wee Clara as she drifts off to sleep on Christmas Eve and meets the dashing Nutcracker Prince, fights off the larger-than-life Rat King, and is welcomed into the Land of Sweets by the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy.

The much-loved Tchaikovsky score will be performed live in all its glory by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, returning to accompany the company on tour again for the first time since the pandemic.

Originally choreographed by Scottish Ballet founder Peter Darrell in 1972, Scottish Ballet’s The Nutcracker was reimagined in 2014 by CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, working with multi-award-winning Designer Lez Brotherson. It includes unforgettable scenes such as on-stage snow, a whirling Victorian Christmas party, and a mesmerizing duet in front of a wall of 4,500 gleaming baubles.

As part of our sustained commitment to drive anti-racism in ballet, and to ensure The Nutcracker remains relevant today and for the future, we are making subtle but important changes to some of the costumes, choreography and characters. 

Following ongoing consultancy, the Chinese and Arabian-inspired divertissements in the Land of Sweets will have updated costumes and choreography to remove elements of caricature and better represent the culture and traditions which have inspired them. The enigmatic magician Drosselmeyer will, in this tour, be played by both male and female dancers. 

Christopher Hampson, Scottish Ballet's CEO/Artistic Director, said: 'At Scottish Ballet, we want to drive anti-racism: clear and simple. If we see racist stereotypes or if we hear about racism within the ballet world, it must be addressed.

'The Nutcracker was created in 1972, when it was acceptable to represent other cultures through imitation. If we are representing a culture, it's important that we have done our due diligence to ensure it is done so authentically. By rectifying inappropriate cultural stereotypes, we’re adding to the production’s heritage and making it richer. 

'Art must evolve to speak to our times, which is why our Drosselmeyer will be played by male and female dancers. I made this change after considering who our heroes are in ballets, and it struck me that there was nothing about this role that suggested only a man could deliver it.'

This major tour will encompass 74 performances across six cities, featuring the full Scottish Ballet company and orchestra alongside ballet students in training from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, as well as a cast of 40 children drawn from across Scotland who will feature as Clara, her brother Fritz, and other roles.

How do I get tickets?

The Nutcracker will tour to the following theatres:

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh (1-31 December 2021)

Theatre Royal, Glasgow (5-15 January 2022)

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen (19-22 January 2022)

Eden Court Theatre, Inverness (26-29 January 2022)

Theatre Royal, Newcastle (2-5 February 2022)

Grand Opera House, Belfast (9-12 February 2022)

Tickets are available here.


‘The Nutcracker holds such a special place in our Christmas traditions, and we are delighted to be able to share this magical production again and create new memories for our audiences. This tour will be particularly special as we are re-joined by our wonderful Scottish Ballet Orchestra at long last. I am grateful for the support of the Peter Darrell Trust in ensuring that we keep this production alive and relevant for all our audiences, now and in the future.’

Christopher Hampson, CEO/Artistic Director, Scottish Ballet

‘I went to see The Nutcracker when I was 7 with my Granny and my wee sister for Granny’s birthday. I really loved it and dreamed that I would dance on the stage one day. The Nutcracker is so colourful and full of joy, especially the party scene, because I love the costumes and seeing everyone dance together. I’m soooo excited to perform with Scottish Ballet and meet all the Principal dancers, and can’t wait to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy!’

Chloe Macduff (aged 12), one of five young dancers playing Clara