With Christmas on the back of our heels, we’re getting into the festive spirit with a true classic as we go backstage with Birmingham Royal Ballet’s, The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker is known not only for its music but also for the stunning costumes the dancers wear. From ball gowns and solider’s uniforms to rats and fairies. One of the most iconic outfits though has to be the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tu-tu.

We popped backstage with Anna Willetts from the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Costume Department as she began work on making a new Sugar Plum Fairy Bodice, following the designs of the fantastic John MacFarlane and under the supervision of Jane Gill of Parkinson Gill.


The costume itself is being created for Delia Mathews, one of a number of dancers taking on the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy over the 22-performance run of The Nutcracker at Birmingham Hippodrome, 28 November – 13 December.

Anna herself trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, in Costume Construction with Theatre Design. Coincidentally, for her final project at University, she met with Nutcracker designer John MacFarlane and made a realisation of his design for the Evil Step Mother in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of Cinderella!

The Nutcracker plays at Birmingham Hippodrome from 28th November – 13th December 2014. For more information and to book tickets visit birminghamhippodrome.com

About The Author

Editor at large of Polaroids and Polar Bears, PR bod and not-so-secret geek. Chris established Polaroids and Polar Bears in 2013.