Magical Christmas at Chatsworth

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The fairytale magic of the most famous of ballets is sweeping everyone along into an enchanting winter wonderland at Chatsworth this festive season.

Christmas at Chatsworth: The Nutcracker sees the house transformed to present the festive tale complete with lavish costumes, beautiful decorations, wonderful stage sets and a few fantastic surprises in store sure to captivate all who visit.

Christmas at Chatsworth transports everyone to a fairytale world populated by Nutcracker soldiers; elegant ballerinas and dancing snowflakes. All the cast will be on view - from the Mouse King and the Sugar Plum Fairy to the Nutcracker and Clara - to depict the story in a series of stunning tableau scenes throughout the house.

In the tale, a box of performing toys charms the children and adults alike, but it is the Nutcracker doll that enchants Clara the most. As the curtain rises on Christmas Eve, visitors will be able to share in Clara’s adventures as she is swept away by her Nutcracker Prince to a wonderful place where the magic really begins.

Along the way, the beautifully dressed rooms will tell the story of The Nutcracker with all the classic scenes from Clara’s dream; from the waltz of the snowflakes to the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Head housekeeper Janet Bitton said: “The Land of Sweets in the Great Dining Room will be the highlight for me. The only light will be from the chandelier, like a moon above the city with its twinkling lights through the windows, and the glow from the huge Christmas trees in each corner will be magical.”

In a clever twist, the visitor will be able to experience the story as though they are both in the audience at the theatre and stepping backstage at the ballet. Guides will become stage managers and wardrobe mistresses.

For a special added thrill, visitors of all ages will be invited to enter into the magic of the story with many costumes to try on.

As well as the main event in the house, there is a whole host of festive themed activity. From truly magical nativity performances in the farmyard starring the farm animals, to gourmet evenings, floral workshops and wreath making demonstrations, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Or get Christmas shopping off to an early start with a visit to the Christmas market with over 100 stalls of gifts for the whole family.

Christmas at Chatsworth: The Nutcracker is on until January 3.

For more information, visit www.chatsworth.org

Photo by Simon Broadhead