Drew McOnie’s jazz take on the Nutcracker to make world premiere at London’s Southbank Centre

The McOnie Company’s Nutcracker is to make its world premiere at the Southbank Centre in London this winter.

Directed and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Drew McOnie, the show features Tchaikovsky’s world-famous score reimagined for an on stage jazz band by multi-award winning jazz artist Cassie Kinoshi.

The production runs at new venue the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club at the Southbank Centre on Saturday, 4 November 2023 and plays until 6 January 2024, with previews from 28 October 2023. Tickets go on sale 6 September.

The cast for Nutcracker includes Amonik Melaco (Action Man), Sam Salter (Clive) and Patricia Zhou (Sugarplum) with Chanelle Anthony, Christie Crosson, Tim Hodges, Lukas Hunt and Rachel Muldoon.

This wild spirited adventure follows young Clive on his quest for self-acceptance. Packed with hope, heart and humour, this Nutcracker is for anyone who wants to live life in full technicolour. It’s playful, mischievous and a lot of fun.

Diving into the glittering winter wonderland head on, dancers of The McOnie Company perform to Tchaikovsky’s world famous score, reimagined for an onstage Jazz band.

Nutcracker will be co-composed by Cassie Kinoshi and Rio Kai, with venue and set design by Soutra Gilmour, costume design by Ryan Dawson Laight, music supervision by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, lighting design by Joshie Hariette, sound design by Simon Baker, and casting by Will Burton CDG. It is produced by Underbelly, Francesca Moody Productions and Southbank Centre with Rachel Edwards and Winkler Smalberg.

The Tuff Nutt Jazz Club is a newly transformed music and performance space at the Southbank Centre with audiences are invited to continue their evening at the venue after the show with live sessions from leading music artists into the night.

Drew McOnie, Artistic Director of The McOnie Company, said: “Creating a Jazz adaptation of the Nutcracker for my own company is exactly the sort of wild impossible thing I would daydream about constantly as a young boy. I spent hours devising colourful worlds in my head where great theatre dancers and great musicians would tell stories that made me feel like I belonged somewhere.

“It’s my desire to fill this Nutcracker with heaps of that childlike wonder but with the added free spirited mischief we all crave at Christmas time. To be creating this production with such an exceptional group of artists is truly thrilling and I cannot wait to introduce this Nutcracker to you… an old friend you are about to meet for the first time”.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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