The Nutcracker, with its wonderful score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, has over the years become the perfect Christmas holiday ballet. It takes place during a Christmas party where the toy maker Drossellmeyer (Sir Anthony Dowell) comes to entertain the children. He gives Clara (Alina Cojocaru) a Nutcracker doll and she at once falls in love with it. When everyone has gone to bed Clara comes downstairs to find her doll and suddenly gets involved in a great adventure. She saves the Nutcracker Prince (Ivan Putrov) in the battle with the mice, is taken to the Land of Snow and on to the Land of Sweets where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy (Miyako Yoshida) and her Prince (Jonathan Cope). When she gets home, she meets a young man in the street that she recognises. He looks very much like the Nutcracker Prince and turns out to be Drossellmeyer's young nephew. Sir Peter Wright's production for the Royal Ballet is designed by Julia Trevelyan Oman and the orchestra of the Royal Opera House is conducted by Evgenii Svetlanov. The programme is introduced by Deborah Bull.