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Hansel and Gretel

“Wittily delightful and original”

Mike Kenny’s gift is to take a classic tale and make the wildest of fancies seem wholly reasonable. So what better than a parliament of Rooks to tell this forest story? Picking up instruments, they simultaneously act, sing and play with dazzling proficiency.

This is a glorious production in every respect, from the witty lyrics and insistent beat of the music to the lavish confection of the set and costumes. Zany, fluid and multilayered, it’s simple and wondrous enough for small children but offers plenty to engage the grown-ups too.

Christopher Price’s myopic Witch is no hook-nosed, cackling crone but a sinister and outrageous villain (and a mean double bass player). Yana Penrose squares up as a bright and capable Gretel to Craig Anderson’s less resourceful Hansel, alarmed at the prospect of “boys in blankets” or “scrambled legs”.

Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood stray into a story that has many magical touches, but shows that magic can’t solve everything. The spell is lost that could have restored the ostracised giant rook to his normal size, but he is ultimately accepted and embraced for what he is. There’s a happy ending for our times.

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Production Details
Production nameHansel and Gretel
VenueDerby Theatre
StartsNovember 30, 2018
EndsJanuary 5, 2019
Running time1hr 55mins
AuthorMike Kenny
DirectorSarah Brigham
ChoreographerKitty Winter
Set designerNeil Irish
Costume designerTim Heywood
Lighting designerEmma Jones
Sound designerIvan Stott
Casting directorKay Magson
CastElizabeth Eves, Jack Quarton, Christopher Price, Craig Anderson, Esme Sears, Jack Alexander, Tilly-Mae Millbrook, Yana Penrose
Company stage managerBeth Williams
Stage managerAnthony Fearnley, Moby Renshaw
ProducerDerby Theatre
VerdictWittily delightful and highly original twist on a classic fairytale
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