Nutcracker The Fairytale
December arrived at last. All the hard work put in since the June auditions came together for LAMPS Christmas Musical, a world premier, of "Nutcracker the Fairytale", specially written for Liphook's oldest Amateur Dramatic group by director Dave Rowlandson. Enthusiastic audiences, who were spellbound by the dream spun out by this family society, filled the Liphook Millennium Hall Theatre for all four performances
LAMPS turned this well-known story by ETA Hoffmann, which has been portrayed for years and years as a ballet, into a touching Musical that appealed to all ages who came to support and enjoy the show. With a cast ranging from as young as six to as young as sixty years of age, the balance was perfect for this story of how a young girl, Clara Stahlbaum (Ellen Meekin) falls asleep with a Nutcracker Doll in her arms, only to dream that he comes alive as she and the Nutcracker, try to keep their distance from The Mouse King (Kerry Moss) and his mischievous mice, as they escape through the Lands of Snow and Sweets, only to end with a battle between the Mouse King and the Nutcracker.
We were treated to wonderful performances by Matthew Rutter as the Nutcracker, who melted the hearts of the audience as he delightfully danced through "Walking through the Air", superbly sung by Herr Drosselmeyer, Clara (Ellie Gill) and the Story Tellers, and the Mouse King, who's solo tap dance throughout "This is the Battle", left each group of spectators captivated.
The musical set out to tell the story of this fairytale by song, performed harmoniously throughout by Gill Jones, Clemency Bray and Sue Lapicki as the Story Tellers. LAMPS team of scene designers built a realistic set of a typical 18th Century drawing room, decked out in Germanic style to celebrate Christmas. In contrast to the female trio of story tellers, the show was superbly supported by a strong male contingent, Rob Miller, Steve Skeet and Steve Baker, who's rendering of "Oh Holy Night" was both commanding and moving, as they took on the senior roles of Herr Drosselmeyer, Herr Stahlbaum and Herr Schneemann. Steve Baker also played Jack Neige and brought the house down with his rendition of "Lost in a Hole".
The Mouse King, as expected was menacing throughout and the audience loved the comeuppance of the superbly dressed mice, Rhiannon Meekin, Lucy & Alice Shires, Alison Byrne, Natasha Lucas & Alisha Patel, every time Herr Drosselmeyer got the better of them. Further memorable contributions to this lovely fairy tale were made by Sylvia Wallis and Nathan Rutter (Frau Stahlbaum and her son Fritz) Mary Coyte as both Frau Grumpel & the Sugar Plum Fairy, Kate Henley, James Skeet, Luca and Jenna Whiteway as both the Schneemann and Neige families, and the wonderful toys and characters in the Land of Sweets, Nik & Charlotte Hutty, Lucie Skeet, Maddie Hurlestone, Hayley Rutter and George Feeney.
Full of enthusiasm after a successful run, LAMPS are busy planning their Spring show and are, of course, looking to outdo the "Nutcracker" with another world premier.
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