The Nutcracker

Adapted by Rob Ashman and Johnny Cartwright

It’s Christmas Eve and Drosselmeyer is putting the finishing touches to a very special present for his niece Clara.

Join Clara and her beloved nutcracker doll as it magically transforms into a handsome prince. Help defeat the evil Mouse King and fly with them to the Land of Sweets for a meeting with the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy.

Set in Drosselmeyer’s amazing toy shop and using the much loved scoreline of Tchiakovsky’s famous ballet, Sea legs invite you to a delicious festive feast of storytelling, music and puppetry.

For children age 3+

“A magical show. The look on the children’s faces was amazing. It was a thoroughly professional and enjoyable performance. Thank you very much.” – Jan Willetts, Headteacher, Lea Street First School, Kidderminster.

The Nutcracker was produced for a 53 show schools tour in Christmas 2005.  It was an extremely ambitious production. I had decided to perform it as a one man show but just how does one man animate a battle scene with a hoard of screeching mice and an army of toy soldiers? It was a question that took us all around the houses and back. Finally we settled on a simple but highly organised shadow scene. With an enormous amount of planning, making, rehearsal and reserves of energy I never knew I had, I took the show on the road.

I have to admit Sea Legs sailed very close to the wind with this one and for the first few shows I was flying by the seat of my pants, but we very quickly sorted out any teething problems and I settled into an exhausting but exhilarating touring schedule that took me all over the Midlands and South Wales with a final show on 21st December at Hereford Cathedral (see below).

Puppeteer helps charity

A puppeteer is donating the proceeds from his show in Hereford Cathedral to an international children’s charity.
Rob Ashman, from Sea Legs Puppet Theatre, is handing over 80% of the money from his performance of The Nutcracker to Children of Peace, which aims to build cross boundary friendships between children in the middle-east.
The remaining money is making its way to the Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust.
Children of Peace chairman Richard Martin, who hails from Hereford, was on hand to watch the production and collect the money for the charity.
“It was a super production,” said Richard. “A lovely show, real old fashioned entertainment and the children loved it.” 
More than £200 was raised and donations were still being made.
From the Hereford Times January 11th 2006.

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    "Sea Legs' provides wonderful storytelling and puppetry. Entertaining both children and adults, I am always asked when they will be back. I cannot speak highly enough of the company and their skills!" - Nikki Small, Deputy General Manager, Farnham Maltings.

    "We were blown away by your performance of The Selfish Giant - so beautiful, haunting, uplifting and special. Lots of the parents have been singing your praises. Thank you for giving us one birthday party we will remember forever!" - Jo Pilkington, Parent, Herefordshire

    "Our audiences can’t get enough of Sea Legs’ shows. They love the beautifully crafted puppets, the lively, inventive storytelling, the colourful sets, the humour and occasional silliness. Younger children especially love being able to ‘meet the puppets’ after the show – and it’s a great pleasure as a theatre programmer to work with someone who’s so easy to deal with!" - Kitty Parker, Roundhouse Administrator, Nottingham Playhouse.

    "I Just wanted to say thank you for the most amazing day today - can't thank you enough. All of the children from pre-school right up were inspired and amazed by your production of The Ugly Duckling!" - Rachel Hughes, Year 1 Teacher, Glenfall Community Primary School, Cheltenham.

    "Little Bo Peep was absolutely excellent - the best children's show we've seen by far. Brilliantly engaging and well told." - Mrs Warrior, Audience Member, ARC, Stockton Arts Centre.

    "All the Sea Legs shows we have seen, have been of a consistently high standard. The children are thoroughly engaged from the onset and entranced by the storytelling. I would highly recommend Sea Legs shows to any school." - Coleen Wilkins, Headteacher, Falconer's Hill Infant School, Daventry.

    "Rarely do I bother to review anything but I felt I had to in this instance...My 4 year old son was totally mesmerised by The Selfish Giant show from start to finish and I love the idea that you simply tell a lovely, meaningful story in an old fashioned fun way. I really hope you come our way again as we would be the first to book in to see you, but for now we have our cd which my son played over and over back at home! - Heidi Azarpour, Audience Member, Stafford Gatehouse.

    "Sea Legs' performances are consistently magical and accessible. Rob connects effortlessly with the audience and has a wonderful way of bringing stories to life!" - Gemma Aston, Director, Riverhouse Arts Centre, Walton on Thames.

    "Thank you for an amazing Little Bo Peep show today. Our daughter was absolutely over the moon, and I'm sure will remember her 5th birthday forever!" - Mark Schottlander, Parent, London.

    "We enjoy Sea Legs' shows for the high quality of story telling but also the exceptional puppets, sets and imagination that goes into each production. As a grown up its lovely to take my daughter to something I know I will enjoy as much as her. We look forward to the next time you come to Nottingham." - Tamsin Peach, Audience Member, Nottingham Playhouse.

    "It was a joy to watch my son and his friend enthralled by your show, Little Bo Peep! - We're looking forward to coming to see your next one." - Rachel Collins, Audience Member, Winchester Discovery Centre.

    "An enthralling experience for all and a great introduction to live theatre for very young children." - A. Taylor, Headteacher, St Mary's Primary School, Fownhope, Hereford.

    "Little Bo Peep was an excellent and very positive experience for our pre-school children. The attention to detail was amazing! I have no hesitation in recommending this show to other pre-schools." - Mrs Alice Bennett, Centre Leader, Madresfield Early Years Centre, Malvern, (Judged Best Nursery in the UK 2012 by NDNA)

    “We always look forward to Sea Legs' performances at Square Chapel as they are always hiqh quality and popular with schools and family audiences alike. The puppets are beautiful and it is always a treat for children to meet them at the end.” Michaela O'Sullivan, Education & Outreach Manager, Square Chapel Centre for the Arts, Halifax.

    "Many thanks for the beautiful production of the Ugly Duckling we enjoyed at the Hive the other day. I had hoped my five and two year old would make it through the tale and it wouldn't be too stressful for me trying to keep them sitting down. As it was, we were absolutely captivated by a magical and moving performance; it was an hour of blissful escapism for myself (tinted with bittersweet nostalgia) as well as being beautiful entertainment for the children." - Camila Stewart, Audience Member, The Hive, Shrewsbury.

    "A fantastic, moving and inspirational performance - Thank you so much and please let us know when you have a new production." - Janette Hinch, Deputy Headteacher, Harewood Infant School, Gloucester.

    "Absolutely spellbinding! Stunning costumes and puppets and exquisite mastery of voice and movement. True storytelling!" - Lucy White, Audience Member, Malvern Theatres.