The McOnie Company’s Nutcracker at the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club

The McOnie Company’s Nutcracker at the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club

Underbelly, Francesca Moody Productions and Southbank Centre with Rachel Edwards and Winkler Smalberg, have announced the new world premiere production of The McOnie Company’s Nutcracker, directed and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Drew McOnie featuring Tchaikovsky’s world-famous score reimagined for an on stage jazz band by multi-award winning jazz artist Cassie Kinoshi. 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.

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.

Nutcracker opens at London’s hottest 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.

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 thisNutcracker to you… an old friend you are about to meet for the first time”

Mark Ball, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, said: “I am thrilled that we’re creating a brand new venue at the Southbank Centre – the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club – where audiences will experience a magical reimagining of Nutcracker from a brilliantly talented creative team.  This is a Nutcracker that transports us to a world of self-discovery and adventure via a vision that brings together a jazz-infused take on Tchaikovsky‘s classic score by Cassie Kinoshi with adventurous choreography and storytelling from Drew McOnie. It signals our own commitment to investing in collaboratively created new performance work that gives audiences unique experiences of theatre and dance.”


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.


The Tuff Nutt Jazz Club is a newly transformed music and performance space at the Southbank Centre, putting audiences at the centre of one of the coolest jazz clubs in town. Following performances of Nutcracker on Thursday to Sunday, audiences are invited to continue their evening at the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club which will host live sessions from leading music artists into the night.

Tickets for Nutcracker are £35 ⁠–⁠ £150. Click here to book now.

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