The Nutcracker

Ballet by Edward Clug after E.T.A. Hoffmann

The Nutcracker

Ballet by Edward Clug after E.T.A. Hoffmann
With its Christmas setting and Peter Tchaikovsky's glorious music, The Nutcracker is one of the most famous and beloved ballets in the international repertoire. The Stuttgart Ballet has - surprisingly - not performed a full-length version of this classical ballet for over 50 years. Artistic Director Tamas Detrich has therefore commissioned a spectacular new production from the internationally acclaimed choreographer Edward Clug with sets and costumes by the legendary designer Jürgen Rose. Using E.T.A. Hoffmann's fantastical short story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” as their inspiration, Clug and Rose newly interpret this marvelous classic.

The plot: Clara receives a nutcracker as a Christmas present from her godfather Mr. Drosselmeier. The Nutcracker is actually the enchanted nephew of Mr. Drosselmeier, who has been cursed by the evil Mouse King. Despite his grotesque appearance, Clara falls in love with the Nutcracker. Can Clara and the Nutcracker defeat the Mouse King? Can Clara save the Nutcracker and free him from his ugly wooden shell? Who can help her?
This new version, like many others, also offers plenty of roles for children: a perfect opportunity to involve the young talents of the John Cranko School. One thing is certain: This enchanting family ballet is perfect for the holiday season.


Act I
Christmas Eve

In the town square the Christmas market is in full swing. At the house of the Stahlbaum family, Clara, her parents and her brother Fritz decorate the Christmas tree. The guests - as well as Clara and Fritz’s godfather Drosselmeyer - arrive. Drosselmeyer tells the children the story of his nephew who has been turned into a Nutcracker by the evil Mouse King and is now trapped inside the hard, wooden shell. Drosselmeyer presents Clara with her Christmas present: a Nutcracker. Clara’s friends play with her many toys. The party guests depart and Clara goes to bed.

Suddenly, the evil Mouse King and his army of mice appear. Clara is afraid but the Nutcracker comes to her rescue. Fritz’ toy soldiers come to fight with the Nutcracker against the mice. Clara also calls her toys to help the Nutcracker.
Seeing that the Nutcracker has been wounded, Clara hits the Mouse King on the head and defeats him.

Clara helps the wounded Nutcracker. He is ashamed of his ugly appearance but Clara loves him nonetheless. Suddenly two deer appear. They are followed by fairies of the forest and the Queen of the Forest.

Act II
The Journey

The Nutcracker has disappeared. Clara and Drosselmeyer set out to search for him. Beetles and butterflies guide them on their way. Clara encounters her parents and grandparents as well as Fritz and his friends. Clara meets all her toys and asks them if they know where the Nutcracker is but no one has seen him. Clara has a vison of him and, in her heart, recognizes his true being. Her toys dance for and with her. Finally, she finds Drosselmeyer’s nephew. Her love for him has released him from the spell of the Mouse King. Clara is united with him.

Further productions this season

Triple bill


World premieres by Vittoria Girelli, Samantha Lynch, Morgann Runacre-Temple.

The Nutcracker

Ballet by Edward Clug after E.T.A. Hoffmann
Triple Bill

Shades of Blue and White

Makarova / Forsythe / Scholz