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Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! tour and London run postponed

The show will not be going ahead this Christmas

A previous production of Nutcracker!
© Simon Annand

The new tour of Matthew Bourne's hit show Nutcracker! has been postponed.

The show, which was initially meant to open this winter in Plymouth, has been pushed back to next year's festive season while uncertainty over the pandemic remains.

Sadler's Wells, which was to house the show for the Christmas season, has also cancelled all shows until January 2021, with artistic director and CEO Alistair Spalding saying: "It is with great sadness that we announce today that our shows scheduled until January 2021 cannot go ahead as planned, including Matthew Bourne's brilliant Nutcracker!. Matthew Bourne and New Adventures have been delighting Sadler's Wells audiences with their Christmas shows for 17 consecutive years, which have become one of the highlights of our annual programme.

"We have worked very closely with New Adventures and the other artists and companies in our programme to avoid this outcome, however continuing uncertainty surrounding coronavirus restrictions has forced us to make this decision, with artist, audience and colleague safety at its core. Though we can't share Nutcracker! with audiences this year, I'm very pleased to confirm that it will return to Sadler's Wells for our 2021/22 Christmas season."

Bourne said today: "Today's announcement is heartbreaking for everyone in the New Adventures family. We love our loyal audiences throughout the UK and we feel a great sense of sadness that we will not get to perform for you on our annual tour at this time. This year would have seen our 18th consecutive Christmas season at Sadler's Wells with our sparkling new production of Nutcracker!.

"I know that there was great anticipation to see this beloved show back after nine years but, alas, we must wait another year for a return trip to Sweetieland! In the meantime, we look forward to shortly announcing a series of adventurous plans, both on and off stage, for 2021 and we live for the day when the curtain rises again on a New Adventures show."

Ticket holders do not need to do anything and will be contacted by the end of September. The new Sadler's Wells dates are from 7 December 2021 to 30 January 2022, with tour stops to be confirmed.

The production, featuring the music of Tchaikovsky, was first produced in 1992 and was last seen in 2012, when it celebrated its 20th birthday.