Jingle Horse is Winter Guests’ first direct collaboration with the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, and was performed in parallel with the annual re-staging of the Ballet’s treasured Nutcracker.
What happens when a bunch of world-weary actors (all with a rather complicated relationship to the festive season) are asked to create a Christmas show in collaboration with a handful of overworked dancers from the Norwegian National Ballet?
As quirky and dysfunctional as any manufactured theatrical ‘family’, we discover the Winter Guests valiantly trying to make a go of it in the idealized, heteronormative, setting of a ‘Classic Christmas Special’. Think of the joyful holiday offerings of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby or Judy Garland, but with next to no musical ability and little regard for the neighborly ‘good will’ demanded of the season.
The ‘family’ set themselves the task of delivering a jolly variety show of self-penned sketches to reflect their personal experiences of Christmas, but soon find their good intentions laid to waste by the realization that putting their own experiences on stage does not make for a fun night out.
Amid a farcical cavalcade of references to A Christmas Carol, the Poltergeist movie, a potty-mouthed Mary Mother of God and the current refugee crisis, our already unconventional family crisis at Christmas is further devastated by the arrival of the terrifyingly cute Jingle Horse, and his seedy side-kick, Secret Santa.
In the ensuing chaos, dancers talk until they’re blue in the face, actors dance like their lives depended on it and (despite a marked lack of talent) everyone sings for Jesus… but hey, it’s Christmas!!!
And even then, after all the horrors and traumas of family celebration, the Jingle Horse promises a very special Christmas indeed - so sweet, you’ll need insulin…
In the press:
"The ensemble acting of winter guests is so strong it would carry any kind of text you could imagine"
- Dagsavisen, (NO)