Following a run at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London,  Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! is about to begin a run at the Liverpool Empire and then returns to the Lowry in March to celebrate its 20th anniversary, as part of a national tour.  

According to press material, “This delicious theatrical feast has family-sized helpings of Matthew Bourne’s trademark wit, pathos and magical fantasy.”

Nutcracker!, featuring Tchaikovsky’s legendary score, follows Clara’s bittersweet journey from a hilariously bleak Christmas Eve at Dr. Dross’ Orphanage, through a shimmering, ice-skating winter wonderland to the scrumptious candy kingdom of Sweetieland.

Directed and choreographed by multi award-winner Matthew Bourne (Swan Lake, Edward Scissorhands, Cinderella), it is co-devised by Martin Duncan, with lighting design by Howard Harrison and sound design by Paul Groothius.

Matthew Bourne said: "When our Nutcracker! premiered with Opera North at the Edinburgh Festival in 1992, none of us had any idea that it would still be around twenty years later. I remember my trepidation at approaching such a classic of the ballet repertoire, little knowing that one day it would become something of a classic in its own right.”

“It seems only right on this occasion to thank my original collaborators, Martin Duncan and Anthony Ward, for helping to create a story and a set of characters that have become much loved throughout the UK, and of course Nicholas Payne, the then director of Opera North, who took the gamble of commissioning a very small, quirky young dance company to take on Tchaikovsky's glorious masterpiece."

Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! tour, which kicked off at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley on 5 November, arrives at the Liverpool Empire from 24 - 28 Janurary and then arrives at the Lowry in Salford from 20 - 24 March, 2012.