In a deserted city, a young boy finds himself drawn towards a closed theatre, and stumbles inside. He wanders through the empty auditorium, where rows of velvet chairs, draping curtains and chandeliers seem to lie in lonely wait for audiences to return.

He peeks backstage and discovers abandoned and half-covered props, costumes, lights, and sets that whisper of glamorous past shows and hidden magic, urging him deeper into their mysterious world. As he reaches to lift a curtain, music starts to play and the theatre bursts into life and colour. A carnival of characters spring to life, greeting the boy and putting on an extraordinary show filled with acrobats, snowflakes, clowns, princes and – of course – beautiful ballerinas.

The boy is whisked through a series of magical scenes from a circus and a snowy forest to a glorious Christmas party. He sees himself transformed into a dancer and meets the delightful Sugar Plum Fairy; he takes her hand and they whirl through the glittering guests until a beam of light interrupts their reverie. The night watchman’s torch finds the boy and he runs from the theatre, to discover the city is back to life and bustling with people who appear strangely familiar to him…