Nutcracker Story

Buy Nutcracker Story on DVDNUTCRACKER STORY, directed by Margy Kinmonth, pays homage to one of the world’s favourite fairy tales; it examines this famous story about growing up and asks what it is about Tchaikovsky’s ballet that has made it such an essential part of every child’s Christmas all over the world.

Nutcracker wasn’t always a light and fluffy sweet-filled ballet for children.
It started as one of Hoffmann’s dark fairy tales, long before Tchaikovsky created the music for the famous ballet.

Watch a clip from Nutcracker StoryTchaikovsky found it hard to write Nutcracker, struggling with his own demons – drink, his sexuality, and his untimely and mysterious death soon after the premiere in St Petersburg in 1892. The critics were cruel, and Nutcracker then disappeared, unperformed for decades, until the Americans adopted it as the archetypal children’s Christmas entertainment it is today.

Filmed in St Petersburg, Budapest and London, there’s an exclusive sneak preview on the set of the blockbuster new movie “Nutcracker – The True Story” starring  Nathan Lane and child star Elle Fanning.

Nutcracker Story is narrated by Simon Russell Beale and features principal dancers of the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden and The Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet. Contributors include choreographer/director Sir Peter Wright, film director Ken Russell, choreographer Matthew Bourne, historian Marina Warner, film director Andrei Konchalovsky and biographer Anthony Holden. Tchaikovsky’s famous score is conducted by Valery Gergiev, the celebrated musical director of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre.

Director: Margy Kinmonth
Executive Producer: Maureen Murray
Executive Producer & Editor for The South Bank Show: Melvyn Bragg
A Foxtrot Films Production in association with ITV Productions & Channel 4 International

  • Nominated Grierson Best Arts Documentary 2008

Available to buy on DVD

Press Quotes

The Telegraph

…From its origins as a dark fairytale…replete with sinister forces and riven with sexual undercurrents, to its transformation into a jolly festival ballet for all the family…
The Guardian

Margy Kinmonth’s film, an elegant fusion of dance scholarship with popular arts television, explores the sexual motifs in the story…
The Tablet

…The star of Nutcracker is Tchaikovsky…
Time Out

…How did a dark story with sinister overtones end up as a Christmas fairytale?…
Express *** 3 star rating

…Director Margy Kinmonth traces this theatrical phenomenon’s progress from its first performance in 1892 to Andrei Konchalovsky’s $40m movie starring Nathan Lane…
Sunday Express

…The Nutcracker is surely as much part of Christmas as brussel sprouts, but far more enjoyable…. if only we could get Melvyn Bragg to do a pirouette…
TV Times **** 4 star rating