Help keep The Nutcracker Dazzling: The Big Give 2019

Help Birmingham Royal Ballet keep The Nutcracker dazzling as we continue our ambitious project to refurbish and recreate the spectacular costumes in this iconic and much-loved production. Make a donation online to us from Tuesday 3 December until Tuesday 10 December and double the value of your gift!

Every £1 you donate through the Big Give website from 3 December (12pm) to 10 December (12pm) will be doubled to £2 through the sponsorship of the Heritage Lottery Fund. That means even a small gift of £20 will be doubled to £40! All the money you donate will go towards the refurbishment of the Nutcracker sets and costumes. 

Since its first performance it has been performed over 600 times in front of an audience totalling over 900,000 people

After almost 30 years of performances we need your help to ensure that the sets and costumes are restored and re-created to match designer John Macfarlane’s wonderful original vision. 

Over time, the Birmingham Royal Ballet Costume department has spent countless hours repairing the costumes and keeping them looking as fresh and bright as possible. These costumes were originally made to exacting standards and were designed to be hard-wearing. However, after so many performances, their maintenance is becoming more and more challenging. A major refurbishment, including many completely new costumes to replace those beyond repair, is now underway.

Working with John Macfarlane we plan to restore these magical sets to their original splendour and use new, stronger and lighter materials to make the sets safer to install and handle, and more eco-friendly to transport.

This work, which will be carried out to the same high standard as the originals, will ensure that our Nutcracker sets and costumes are ready to entertain audiences for another 30 years to come.


  • Ensure our most famous production can continue to entertain and enthral audiences for years to come.
  • Keep our Nutcracker costumes and sets looking as incredible as designer John Macfarlane intended.
  • Introduce a whole new generation to a ballet that has become a Christmastime tradition for so many people.
  • Refurbish the beautiful sets. Using lighter and stronger materials they will be restored to their original glory, while making them easier and safer to handle and more environmentally friendly to transport.
  • Ensure our talented dancers have costumes that are designed to be comfortable and safe to dance in performance after performance.
  • Support our in-house costume team to develop their specialist skills in maintaining our world-class costumes across our diverse repertoire.