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December 2003
The Nut Cracker - The Pegasus Theatre
The Nut Cracker
The Nut Cracker
Is Marie dreaming or is the wooden Nutcracker really coming alive? We can never be sure in this new production of a classic Christmas tale.
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By Jenny Enarsson

It is Christmas Eve and Marie's and Fritz's godfather Mr Drosselmeier has come to visit. The eccentric man has brought the children gifts, one of which is a wooden Nutcracker. He tells the children the story of a princess, a soldier stuck in the body of a Nutcracker, and an evil Mouse King.

That evening, Marie falls asleep thinking of the Nutcracker. When the clock strikes midnight, the magic begins. As the characters from the story come alive before our eyes, we are taken on a thrilling journey through time and space.

Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's classic story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is a Christ-mas fairytale full of atmosphere and mystery. Oxfordshire Touring Theatre Company captures that special feeling of waiting for Christmas Day and whisks the audience away to a land where anything can happen.

The terrifying Mouse King has glistening eyes, a sinister hissing voice and his shabby coat drags on the floor as he circles Marie, trying to get her to tell him where the Nutcracker is hiding.

The production uses the props cleverly and the set create just the right mood. Parts of the story are told with the help of puppets and the lighting is very effective.

Throughout the play, we can never be sure if what we see is really happening or if it is a product of Marie's imagination. In the end, what seemed like a feverish dream turns out to be nothing of the sort. Or was it..?

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