News

Birmingham Royal Ballet to go ahead with live streaming adapted version of The Nutcracker at Birmingham Repertory Theatre

4 Dec 2020


Image credit: Bella Kotak

Following news of Birmingham’s Tier 3 status last week, and ongoing uncertainty about what will be possible post 16 December, Birmingham Royal Ballet has taken the difficult decision to move their 2020 adapted version of The Nutcracker online. The magical Christmas production will be streamed live from The Birmingham Repertory Theatre on Friday 18 December at 7.30pm, giving audiences an experience as close to watching it live in the theatre as is possible.

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker at The REP will be available to watch as a  livestream event at 7.30pm on Friday 18th December.  It will then be available to view as a video-on-demand recording from Saturday 19th to Thursday 24th December.  Video-on-demand sales close at midnight on 21st December, but can be viewed until midnight on Christmas Eve.

Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet Carlos Acosta said ‘I guess you could say we’re trying to look on the bright side at the moment! By live streaming this new adapted version of our famous and much-loved production we can proceed with confidence and focus on making the event as special as possible for our wonderful audiences and now, wherever you are in the world, you can be part of it. I can’t deny it’s disappointing not to see everyone’s happy faces in the theatre, but we will plan to end the year on a Christmas high, finding ways of celebrating is important right now.’

Sean Foley, Artistic Director at The REP said: ‘We hope this newly announced Live Stream performance of The Nutcracker at The REP will bring a flurry of theatrical magic and seasonal warmth into families’ homes this Christmas. Teams at The REP and Birmingham Royal Ballet have been working tirelessly since new safety measures were announced to make this very special, one-off adaptation of the classic festive tale. We are tremendously excited to share it with thousands of people across the world at the same time – the first time ever a performance has been streamed ‘Live from The Birmingham REP’.

In light of the performances being cancelled the Company has again focused on finding solutions and decided to tackle uncertainties by enabling audiences to enjoy the world premiere of this new adaptation from home. After the cancellation of this year’s full production at the Royal Albert Hall, this will be the one chance to experience Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Christmas classic this year.

The full-length Nutcracker will be shortened to an 80-minute magical experience that will retain all of the most enchanting moments and characters you would expect and hope for –  Snowflakes, Drosselmeyer, Fritz and Clara’s Christmas Eve party, King Rat’s battle, the Kingdom of Sweets dances from around the world, the iconic Sugar Plum Fairy and, of course, The Nutcracker Prince – and features the cherished Tchaikovsky score performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Paul Murphy.

Ticket holders for this pay per view production will also be able to enjoy some extra treats the Company have tied together with a seasonal red bow to make the experience as special as possible.

People who have bought tickets for the original live performances The REP will be contacted by the box office.

This year’s performance will ensure the safety of all performers, technical crew and staff.

Two performances featuring two different casts will be captured at The REP. The second film will feature three third year students from The Royal Ballet School performing Trepak, the Russian dance, and students from Elmhurst Ballet School dancing Snowflakes will be available for audiences to watch online in early 2021.

Birmingham Royal Ballet is committed to offering performance opportunities for students of the Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst Ballet School, especially at this time when such opportunities are so rare for students starting out in their careers.

Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s social media pages will reflect a celebration of The Nutcracker throughout the run, including exclusive new dance footage, ballet lessons for the very young and behind-the-scenes insights and the premiere of a new animated film inspired by The Nutcracker created with Birmingham Royal Ballet’s second company, Freefall, whose exceptionally talented dancers have learning disabilities.