A FESTIVE favourite is set to entrance ballet enthusiasts at His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen and Inverness's Eden Court Theatre in January.
The Nutcracker, as choreographed by Peter Darrell, comes to the north more than 40 years after it was launched in 1973.
After a fun-filled Christmas party, young Clara falls asleep and dreams that she helps the Nutcracker Prince to defeat an army of giant mice.
She is rewarded by a visit to the glittering Land of Ice and Snow, where snowflakes come to life, and the magical Kingdom of Sweets – the enchanted realm of the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy.
"I had known about Peter Darrell's production of The Nutcracker when I was a child," said Scottish Ballet's artistic director, Christopher Hampson.
"For most ballet companies, Nutcracker is a very important part of the repertoire. It is normally the most performed work, and needs to be something that will last for generations.
"Peter's production had done that, but it needed to be rested so that it could be rediscovered and brought back with a fresh perspective. It's no accident that I have chosen a Darrell work to put at the very heart of our repertoire."
Peter Darrell's magical world has been re-imagined for modern audiences by Olivier Award-winning designer Lez Brotherston, adding layers of plush Victoriana and traditional festive fare to the original 1973 production.
"This production will be as close to Peter's original as possible," added Hampson. "The point of bringing the production back is to see his beautiful, intricate choreography.
"In terms of design, I asked Lez to take inspiration from the original designs. So although they are different, there will still be a sense of the original production.
"The essence of this being a family production is the key element – and we have looked to incorporate some new ideas for a new audience. We have been working closely with the Peter Darrell Trust to ensure that our new production has his intentions at its heart."
The show will run at His Majesty's from 14th to 17th and Eden Court from 21st to 24th January.