Tony Robinson stars in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of E.T.A. Hoffmann's renowned Christmas story, which inspired Tchaikovsky's ballet 'The Nutcracker'
It is Christmas Eve, and young Mary and Fred are opening presents from their godfather, Drosselmeier the toymaker. Mary's favourite gift is a nutcracker soldier, and she is disappointed when his jaw breaks on a particularly hard nut.
She puts him away carefully, promising that Drosselmeier will mend him - and at that moment he seems to come alive. Surely she is just imagining things? But as the grandfather clock begins to chime midnight, all her toys spring to life! Led by the Nutcracker, they rush into battle with an army of mice who emerge from beneath the floorboards - including the seven-headed Mouse King...
Hoffmann's classic children's tale is adapted by Brian Sibley (who also dramatised 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Chronicles of Narnia' for radio). Starring Tony Robinson as the Nutcracker, Edward de Souza as Drosselmeier, Eric Allen as the Mouse King and Angela Shaftoe as Mary, it is sure to delight fans of Tchaikovsy's famous ballet - and anyone who loves the magic of a good fairy tale.
Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776-1822), better known as E. T. A. Hoffmann, was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. His stories form the basis of Jacques Offenbach's famous opera The Tales of Hoffmann, in which Hoffman appears (heavily fictionalized) as the hero. He is also the author of the novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, on which the famous ballet The Nutcracker is based. The ballet Coppelia is based on two other stories that Hoffmann wrote, while Schumann's Kreisleriana is based on Hoffmann's character Johannes Kreisler.Hoffmann's stories were very influential during the 19th century, and he is one of the major authors of the Romantic movement. [source: Wikipedia] Brian Sibley is an English writer. He is author of over 100 hours of radio drama and has written and presented hundreds of radio documentaries, features and weekly programmes. He is widely known as the author of many movie 'making of' books, including those for the Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.