The team of horses are ready to pull riders into unique re-imagining of The Nutcracker at Caravan Farm Theatre Dec. 10-Jan. 4. (Caravan Farm Theatre image)

Cirque-inspired Nutcracker sleigh rides into outdoor Okanagan theatre

Caravan Farm Theatre stages unique re-imagining of beloved Christmas classic

From Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet to animated adaptations, The Nutcracker has had many incarnations since E.T.A. Hoffmann published his classic story in 1816. However, it’s likely his titular title character has never pranced around in the B.C. woods along with horse-drawn sleighs — until now.

Located on a rural property just northwest of Armstrong, Caravan Farm Theatre is about to deliver a delightful twist of the beloved tale for its 2019 winter sleigh-ride production.

“It’s a spectacular re-telling that playfully transposes the story to a gorgeous outdoor rural setting,” said Estelle Shook, Caravan Farm Theatre’s artistic director.

Re-imagined by acclaimed clown and Cirque du Soleil artist Manon Beaudoin, who is returning to the Caravan to direct, The Nutcracker features a libretto by Vancouver playwright, actor and director James Fagan Tait for the play’s mini operetta scene.

Joining Beaudoin in the production is her partner and fellow Cirque du Soleil performer Colin Heath, last seen doing backflips in 2017’s The Law of the Land, as well as their actor daughter Lili Beaudoin, who first appeared at Caravan as a ghost in the 2002 production of The Apple Orchard.

“Manon is one of the top clowns in the country and she, Colin and Lili have appeared in a number of Caravan productions over the years. We are excited to welcome them back to the Caravan,” Shook says.

Saskatchewan actor and World Champion Pipe Band tenor drummer Roaridh MacDonald will play the eponymous hero, and will not only demonstrate his fire juggling skills, but will lead the battle against the Mouse King playing his drum.

The show also features sets by long-time Caravan designer Molly March as well as sound designed by Cody Clyburn.

A truly unique production, audiences will watch the production from horse-drawn sleighs or wagons, depending on snow, through forest and field to see the show played out in front of them on the 80-acre farm.

Caravan Farm Theatre presents The Nutcracker from Dec. 10 to Jan. 4. Tickets are now sale and are available at the Caravan Box Office, call 1-888-546-8533 or order online at www.caravanfarmtheatre.com.

READ MORE: Fearsome theatrics at Armstrong’s Caravan Farm

READ MORE: Okanagan gymnasts light the stage with original production


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