Thursday, 31 January 2013

(The pictures look better if you hum the music as you browse!)

It was Oliver's idea, of course. Last Christmas he had watched the Nutcracker ballet on television, and was sure that his blog readers would enjoy seeing it performed by bears. Auditions were held in the conservatory as it has a tiled floor perfect for dancing. It is also conveniently near the kitchen - bears need a lot of 'sustenance'.  First to be cast was Oliver, because, as he said, the ballet was his idea and he wanted to play the handsome Prince. When Cheddar pointed out that the Prince needed boots, Oliver replied that his friend Paddington owed him a favour, so he was sure he’d lend his, then magnanimously offered to lend Cheddar his best jacket so that he could play the part of Drosselmeyer.

Grace said that she was going to be Sugar Plum, because she was the only one with a pink dress. No-one dared argue, though several muttered that they thought the Sugar Plum Fairy should be small and dainty. ‘And not a fat Sugar Lump’, whispered Cheeky to Choccy, 'she'll be more like the Sugar Plump Fairy'.  Grace ignored him and rushed off to borrow a tiara. Macaroon was Fritz because he is a growly bear so was ideal for playing a grumpy brother, Blancmange was everyone’s choice for Clara because she is so sweet-natured (she was horrified when she heard she had to hit Mousey over the head with a shoe, till it was explained it was only acting), while cute little Mothball was overwhelmed when he was chosen to be a Snowflake, as he is the hug’s newest and youngest member, and is very shy. Rehearsals were held regularly, and I was really surprised by the dedication of the furry little dancers. I was also surprised at how many of the boys wanted to wear tutus......

It’s sad that you were unable to see the dancing - Hudson’s pirouettes and Russell’s arabesques stole the show - but perhaps these photos I took at the performance will help you to visualise it in your imagination....

          Clara and her brother Fritz are excitedly decorating the Christmas tree, ready for  a party.

One of the guests is Drosselmeyer, a strange person with magical powers. He gives Clara a wooden nutcracker in the shape of a soldier.

Fritz is so jealous that, to Clara's horror, he stamps on the nutcracker and breaks it. Drosselmeyer tells her he will mend it, and she goes off to bed.

Later that night, Clara creeps downstairs in her nightie to find her nutcracker. She doesn't notice the little mouse.

 Suddenly, the Mouse King appears, and Clara is frightened. To her amazement, the nutcracker turns into a handsome Prince, but the mice attack him. Clara throws her shoe at the mouse king and frightens him off.

The Prince takes Clara on a magical sleigh ride, to the land of snowflakes.

They meet the Queen of the Snowflakes, and she and her friends dance for Clara and the Prince.

 Clara and the Prince continue their journey to the Land of Sweets, where they are welcomed by the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Arabian and Chinese dancers perform for Clara and the Prince.

                                                           The Mirlitons perform too.

They are enchanted by the Waltz of the Flowers.

          The dainty Sugar Plum Fairy gracefully dances.

                           Suddenly, Clara is whisked back to her home - was it all a dream?

            CAST LIST:
    (In order of appearance)

Clara                        Blancmange  
Fritz                         Macaroon
Drosselmeyer            Cheddar
Mouse                      Squeaky
Mouse King               Mousey
Prince                        Oliver
Snowflake Queen       Colette
Snowflakes                 Mothball, Minty
Sugar Plum Fairy         Grace
Mirliton                       Hudson
Chinese                       Cheeky Alfonzo
Arabian                       Peepbo
Flowers                       Russell, Azure, Choccy