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Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Repertory Theatre announce ‘Christmas is not cancelled’ as adapted version of The Nutcracker goes on sale

Following last week’s sold-out performances of Lazuli Sky, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Repertory Theatre are excited to announce a specially adapted production of the classic Christmas fairytale The Nutcracker, which will run at The REP from 14 – 22 December 2020. Tickets, from £20, are on general sale from tomorrow 30 October at birmingham-rep.co.uk.

This new adaptation of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s much-loved production of The Nutcracker will bring the family favourite to The REP for the very first time.  In a COVID-safe environment including socially distanced seating allocated to household or bubble groups only, we are able to tell The Nutcracker story in a way that is equally safe for the performers and production crew, on and off stage.

This Christmas, the full-length production of The Nutcracker will be shortened to an 80-minute magical experience that will retain all of the most enchanting moments and characters from the classic full-length show. The Nutcracker at The REP will whisk audiences from the heartwarming Christmas Eve party where Fritz and Clara meet the magician Drosselmeyer, to the rousing battle between King Rat and the toy soldiers, through a flurry of Snowflakes and onto a journey to the Kingdom of Sweets where Clara meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and her prince - all accompanied by the cherished Tchaikovsky score performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. This special series of shows will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s original Birmingham Hippodrome production being created as a gift for the City in 1990.

The production will feature Peter Wright’s award-winning choreography which was adapted by David Bintley for the acclaimed production at the Royal Albert Hall. This new iteration will receive new creative direction from Birmingham Royal Ballet Director, Carlos Acosta and The REP’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley.

The Nutcracker will follow the sold out run and World Premiere of Lazuli Sky that took place at The REP last week marking the start of a new on-going creative partnership between Birmingham Royal Ballet and The REP. Lazuli Sky was filmed at The REP will be available to stream globally via the BRB website from 1 – 8 November and is on sale now. By working together, Birmingham Royal Ballet and The REP are striving to find creative solutions to bringing live performance back to eager audiences and were amongst the first in the UK to achieve this. Will Tuckett’s new commission, Lazuli Sky, will also have a sold out run at Sadler’s Wells to re-open the London venue (29-31 October). Birmingham Royal Ballet’s full productiuon of The Nutcracker will also be performed the Royal Albert Hall this Christmas (30 Dec 2020 - 2 Jan 2021).

Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta said; ‘Following the fantastic experience of staging our first shows since lockdown at The REP, we are so happy to continue our collaboration with this very special version of The Nutcracker so that audiences in Birmingham and the West Midlands can have something to look forward to this Christmas. The Nutcracker is an essential part of our annual season and we can’t wait to welcome audiences back to The REP in December for this celebration.’

The REP’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley added; ‘It was wonderful to collaborate with Carlos Acosta and Birmingham Royal Ballet for the World Premiere performances of Will Tuckett’s Lazuli Sky - and a particular thrill to welcome audiences safely back to The REP for the first time in seven months. We are just as excited to reveal the next stage in our ongoing creative partnership as we bring a special version of The Nutcracker to The REP for the very first time. A visit to theatre is an on-going Christmas tradition, and we can’t wait to share this magical experience with our audiences this festive season.’ 

This enchanting version of a Christmas favourite will be a fitting tribute to the company’s 30-year history, and one that looks to the future with hope and celebration. It is the quintessential Christmas treat for all the family.

This year’s Birmingham show will be especially created to enable appropriate social-distancing and to ensure the safety of all performers, technical crew and audience members. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s specially produced The Nutcrackerat The REP is a magical spectacular live presentation for all the family to enjoy this Christmas.  To ensure the performance is “COVID-safe” BRB will engage a second corps de ballet of extra dancers to perform the iconic snow scene, offering much needed performance opportunities to students and recent graduates from Elmhurst Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School whose career beginnings have been impacted by the pandemic.

In line with current Government regulations, The REP has taken a number of carefully managed steps and precautions to help audiences feel safe and enjoy their chosen performance. The theatre has introduced a series of new safety measures such as socially distanced seating within household bubbles only, hand sanitising stations, temperature checks and additional cleaning. More information can be found at birmingham-rep.co.uk.

The REP will be monitoring the situation closely regarding government advice around performances in outdoor and indoor venues, with a number of contingencies in place. The priority, as always, will be the safety of audiences, performers and staff.

  

To coincide with this announcement, Birmingham Royal Ballet reveals a new look and feel for the company. The rebrand aligns with a fresh new direction the company is taking under Carlos Acosta’s leadership. Thanks to a grant from the Michael Bishop Foundation for this work, Carlos and Birmingham Royal Ballet's team worked with the award-winning NB Studios to better represent Carlos’s new artistic vision.  A new website has also been launched - take a look here.  

For more information, please contact

Lewis Jenkins: lewis@thecornershoppr.com or 07824 538 900

Ben Wooldridge: ben.wooldridge@birmingham-rep.co.uk or 07791183043

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 Listings Information

The Nutcrackerat The REP

Running Time: 80 minutes – no interval

Mon 14 Dec –7.30pm

Tues 15 Dec – 2pm / 7.30pm  

Fri 18 Dec- 7.30pm Performance

Sat 19 Dec - 2pm / 7.30pm

Sun 20 Dec – 1.30pm / 5.30pm 

Mon 21 Dec – 7.30pm

Tues 22 Dec - 2pm / 7.30pm

Tickets: from £20

Booking Information xx

Family offers available for under children under 16. 

On sale to BRB Friends and REP Members 10am, Thu 29 Oct 

General on sale 10am, Fri 30 Oct

Ticket buyers will be eligible for a full refund in the event of circumstances preventing the performances from going ahead.

Lazuli Sky Stream

Midday 1 November – 8 November

Tickets £10 - £20 per device available here

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NOTES TO EDITORS:

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Based at Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Royal Ballet is the United Kingdom’s leading touring ballet company performing a range of traditional, classical and heritage ballets as well as ground-breaking new works with the aim of encouraging choreographers of the future.

The company’s Director from January 2020 is the internationally renowned Carlos Acosta.

Birmingham Royal Ballet performs at Birmingham Hippodrome for approximately ten weeks of the year and the remainder of the year tours throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. On average, the company performs 175 shows a year nationally and internationally.

The Royal Ballet Sinfonia is Birmingham Royal Ballet’s permanent orchestra, it is also Britain's busiest ballet orchestra. The Sinfonia also plays frequently for The Royal Ballet and other leading ballet companies, including performances with: The Royal Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Kirov, Norwegian Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and La Scala Ballet.

Please note: the Birmingham Hippodrome has been closed for stage performances since lockdown but BRB looks forward to returning to its home theatre for Cinderella in Spring 2021.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Birmingham Repertory Theatre is the only producing theatre in the UK’s Second City.

The oldest building-based theatre company in the UK, The REP has an unparalleled pioneering history and has been at the forefront of theatre in this country for over 100 years. It is a registered charity (number 223660).

The REP’s mission is to create artistically ambitious popular theatre for, by and with the people of Birmingham and the wider world.

The commissioning and production of new work lies at the core of The REP’s programme and over the last 15 years, the company has produced more than 130 new plays. As well as presenting over 60 productions on its three stages every year, the theatre tours its productions nationally and internationally. The REP’s acclaimed learning and outreach programme is one of the largest and most diverse of any arts organisation in the country. Every year we have over 70,000 contacts with young people and adults in the community on projects from drama or writing workshops to large-scale productions. The REP is also committed to nurturing new talent through its youth theatre groups, and it offers training for early career writers, directors, and artists through its ground-breaking REP Foundry theatre makers programme.

Many of The REP’s productions go on to have lives beyond Birmingham. Recent tours and transfers include The Lovely Bones, Brief Encounter, Nativity! The Musical, What Shadows, LOVE, The Winslow Boy, The Government Inspector, Of Mice and Men, Anita and Me, Penguins and The King’s Speech. The theatre’s long-running production of The Snowman celebrated its 25th anniversary as well as its 22nd consecutive season at London's Peacock Theatre in 2019.