Most people know The Nutcracker through Tchaikovsky’s ballet but there’s a chance to see the original folktale by ETA Hoffman when Paperfinch Theatre present it as a piece of children’s theatre this Christmas.
“There are significant differences because with a ballet the story has to be stylised and internalised and stripped down,” explains creator and director Joe Bunce. “We have gone back to the original and tried to be imaginative and creative about what it says about childhood whimsy versus post-enlightment industrial efficiency. It’s a love letter to being creative and that’s what we have tried to get across.
“As opposed to being a straight sit-down theatre show it’s immersive theatre which is something people don’t experience that often. We have choreography and puppetry as part of that.
“The form of the show is to occupy the many galleries within Bank Street Arts. The idea is that there is a Christmas party with a live band and mince pies and the audience can explore what is going on in each room,” continues Bunce.
“Then things go a bit awry and the second half of the play takes place inside the brain of the main character.”
Because of its promenade aspects the audience is restricted to 25 for each performance and could be outnumbered by musicians and performers from Paperfinch Theatre, comprising current students and recent graduates of Sheffield University.
The Nutcracker, Tuesday and Saturday at 6.30pm, plus 2.30pm Saturday matinees, this week and next.