AS A '

less fun than pretending to have a Xmas party (V in the middle ofJuly! U ‘Also.’ he adds. ‘Nutcracker normally has a cast of about 35 and my company are only sixteen.’ Sixteen for that party scene! looks more like hundreds. ‘Well good!’ he says. ‘lt works then. They’re changing costumes non- stop backstage.‘ By Act Two this costume- changing frenzy has reached fever pitch. This is the part where Marie goes off on her flight of fancy into wonderland. and traditionally the part ofthe ballet where ‘divertissements' (extra dances that have nothing in particular to do with the storyline) are wheeled on. In The Hard Nut the sugar plum fairies are still there. but with Mr Whippy ice—cream cones on their heads and half of them blokes in drag. The cliched ‘costumes of the world’ numbers are there too. but blown up to a brilliant tongue-in- cheek parody. with the Arabs in sunglasses and a Spanish bullfighter with a bouffant hairdo and the tiniest cape in the world. All of this could have been chaos. Too many wacky ideasjostling for space on the stage. But because of Morris’s unique blend of utter rebelliousness off-stage (he drinks. he smokes. he loves to party he’s gay and doesn't care who knows it). combined with sheer musicality and an inherent gift for ordering movement it works like a dream. No-one ever put such a wild spin on a trad ballet theme and no ever did so with such utter finesse.

The Hard Nut will be coming to Edinburgh for this year’s Festival... but hang on. Isn’t that another Nutcracker the real one - sitting next to it in the programme? Could this be a historic ’clash of the Nutcrackers. with the two productions fighting it out back to back? Apparently not. This classic production is George Balanchine’s. George Balanchine being the original father of modern ballet. and the man who created the only Nutcracker for which Morris has any time.

‘People talk about the “traditional” Nutcracker.’ says Morris. ‘1 always challenge them... “What is the traditional Nutcracker?” and nobody knows. Every one is a pastiche . . . and they’re all kind of the same and they’re all basically illegitimate. Balanchine’s is not. Balanchine‘s is legitimate, and exceptionally beautiful... Balanchine’s is the one I love. His topic - and mine too - is basically how to live in the world without killing each other.’

J I. /


11‘s FREELOAD if



At the Gilded Balloon you can snap up a pair of tickets to see some of the best shows on this year’s Fringe. Gilded Balloon are giving away a generous number of tickets on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED basis. Tickets may be picked up ONLY on the day of the performance by presenting your voucher at the Gilded Balloon box office (from 10am).

Tickets subject to availability and limited to ONE PAIR PER PERSON.


Free tickets to see Smiley’s Culture on Saturday 12 Aug (10.30pm) at Studio Theatre.

10 pairs of tickets available.


Free tickets to see Terminal Wanderlust on Saturday 12 Aug (4.00pm) at Gilded Balloon ll - Stepping Stones Main Theatre.

10 pairs of tickets available.


Free tickets to see An Hour With Dame Sybille on Sat 12 Aug (8.00pm) at Backstage II.

10 pairs of tickets available.


Free tickets to see Uncaged on Sat 12 Aug (12.15am) at Gilded Balloon ll, Courtyard Theatre.

10 pairs available

DONNA 8c K.b.b.

Free tickets to see In on Sat 12 Aug (11.30pm) at Main Theatre.

10 pairs of tickets.

Mixed Programme, Mark Morris Dance Group (Festival) King’s Theatre, 225 5756, 14—16 Aug, 8pm, £5—£20; The Hard Nut, Mark Morris Dance Group (Festival) Festival Theatre, 225 5756, 29 Aug—2 Sept, 7.30pm (2 Sep 2.30pm) £5—£30.

Movements in Time: Bach Suite #3 ( a short flint featuring the MArk Morris Dance Group and '\ world-class cellist Yo-Yo Ma) Drambuie If: Edinburgh Festival, Filmhouse, Mon 14 Aug, 10.30pm, £6 (£4).

The Nutcracker, Miami City Ballet (Festival) Playhouse, 225 5756, 14—16 Aug, 7.30pm (Wed mat 16 Aug, 2.30pm) £5-£30.

The List 11-17 Aug 199515