Naomi Spencer, John Street and Pat Pryce

A breath-taking performance of the Nutcracker is set to wow audiences thanks to some 110,000 balloons amid a magical family adventure – and boost an inspiring Birmingham charity.

An ambitious international collaboration which has led to a “fully immersive” biodegradable balloon setting is the result of a project called The Big Balloon Build and sees charity and business join together.

Tchaikovsky’s classic tale will come alive thanks to the acclaimed BMOS Musical Theatre Company, hosted by Naomi Spencer of Candy Bubbles to ‘give back’ to free@last which helps vulnerable young people.

Unlike other Nutcracker performances, the emphasis on the Nechells production is on fun for all the family and is part of a bigger ‘wonderland’ landscape to captivate visitors. People can join in at various times throughout the day to marvel at the mammoth balloon structures as well as visiting Santa. 

Charity director and founder John Street was Naomi’s youth worker more than two decades ago. She has since gone on to work with loyal customers in Birmingham and beyond and counts various celebrities as clients.

Some 55 balloon artists from around the world are flying in to spend four days building the set.

free@last’s John Street said: “We are so excited by this amazing and spectacular production – an amazing balloon wonderland, the only one of its kind in the world this year. 

“Visitors can choose to be guided around by one of our hosts, to view the wondrous balloon sculpture, followed by a visit Santa, or they can watch the Nutcracker show, being wowed by stellar performances of the BMOS cast as they move with you from scene to scene.”

Naomi added: “The Big Balloon Build brings the world’s best balloon artists together and each year has a host company working with the founder, Stuart Davies, to build a unique structure.

“I’ve been involved with the Big Balloon Build before and to bring this huge spectacle to Birmingham is an absolute delight. Working in a team of 55 specialists from around the world, we will create a visual experience that will blow your mind. As well as this I get to support my favourite children’s charity, free@last.”

Stuart Davies, founder of The Big Balloon Build, added: “The proceeds of this event are going to Nechells based charity free@last, who work hard to improve the lives of the children and young people in their community. The charity BMOS will also benefit, as their theatre company is supported by donations too – providing a wonderful experience for any child or adult who wants to engage with the performing arts.”

BMOS chairman Pat Pryce said: “We are thrilled to be invited to perform at this truly one-of-a-kind event. This will be both a challenge and a delight for all our performers and the production team as we embark on possibly the first ever full theatre show performed with a set made entirely out of balloons. This is going to be a real spectacle for adults and children alike and we’re so proud to be part of the team, alongside The Big Balloon Build, Candy Bubbles and free@last, making this event come to life.”

There are five opportunities for businesses to sponsor this event. For information contact: Emma Jones of All-in-All events: 07595 225353

Tickets to see the Big Balloon Build or to take in the full performance are available at:

Children under two years old can enjoy a walk-through and performance  for free, with a Santa visit costing £5. Other tickets are £20 for the theatre performance and £10 for the walk-through.