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Shetland Arts is delighted to announce that it has managed to secure another screening of The Nutcracker, performed by Bolshoi Ballet, to be shown in Mareel on Saturday 29th December at 3pm, despite originally being told by distributors that only one screening would be possible.

In November Shetland Arts announced that, as a special festive treat, it would be showing its first ever “alternative content” (a filmed live event e.g. opera, theatre, ballet, and/or a concert) in Mareel on Sunday 30th December at 3pm with a screening of The Nutcracker performed by the Bolshoi Ballet. This event went on sale on Friday 30th November and sold out very quickly.

Shetland Arts’ Head of Development, Kathy Hubbard, said: “Originally we were told by distributors that we could only book one screening of The Nutcracker, but after receiving a huge amount of requests from customers who hadn’t managed to get a ticket for the show and who desperately wanted to see it, we asked our programmers to approach the distributors again to see if we could negotiate another screening.”

She continued: “Normally alternative content is only shown once in any given cinema. Although it took a little bit of work to negotiate a deal to book another show, we knew the demand was there and the programmers managed to secure another screening in the end.”

The cast includes an incredible line-up of dancers including Nina Kaptsova, Artem Ovcharenko, Denis Savin, and Pavel Dmitrichenko. The choreography is by the legendary Yuri Grigorovich who, after being accepted into the Leningrad Ballet School in 1946, went on to become a soloist at St Petersburg’s Kirov Ballet, where he stayed until 1962. He joined the Bolshoi Theatre in 1964, and was artistic director until 1995. His most famous works are The Nutcracker, Spartacus, and Ivan the Terrible.

The score for The Nutcracker is by Tchaikovsky, and it first opened in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. It was Tchaikovsky’s last ballet. Composed in the space of a year, its score today is one of the most popular of all ballet scores. For The Nutcracker Tchaikovsky again joined forces with Marius Petipa, with whom he had collaborated on The Sleeping Beauty.

This version, choreographed for the Bolshoi by Grigorovich, is full of romanticism and philosophical reflections on ideal love. It is one of the great classics of the 20th century and, alongside Spartacus and Ivan the Terrible, is one of Grigorovich’s most famous works.

It is Christmas Eve in the home of Mr and Mrs Stahlbaum and their children, Marie and Fritz. Family and friends have gathered for the night’s festivities. Presents are distributed to the children. Marie’s godfather, Drosselmeyer, gives her a strange toy: a wooden nutcracker, carved in the shape of a little man. At midnight, after the celebrations are over, all the toys magically come to life. The nutcracker grows to life-size and takes command of the tin solders, flying to the rescue of Marie, who is threatened by the Mouse King and his mouse army.

Tickets for this event cost £15 / £11 and go on sale this Friday, 14th December, at 2.00pm via Shetland Box Office in Mareel and Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, and online at and

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