If you follow the breadcrumbs to The Court Theatre in Christchurch these school holidays, you’ll find fairy-tale characters Hansel and Gretel on stage, performing a comedic adaptation of the Brothers Grimm classic that’s perfect for little ones aged 3 – 7.

In this silent adaptation dialogue is replaced by action, the actors telling the story through physical clowning aided by radio announcements that help progress the plot.

The classic story remains, following a young brother and sister as they get lost in the forest where a hungry witch is waiting for them…

Director Dan Bain calls the show, “a very traditional version of the story, told in an untraditional way. I like it because it’s all about temptation – can you resist the witch’s treats? It’s the precursor to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Kids are sure to be entertained by the big, visual comedy on stage in Hansel and Gretel – and the participation they’ll be invited to take part in.

One of the integral pieces of the play is the set – a world of gingerbread and lollies, designed by Nigel Kerr.

The cast entering the gingerbread house are John Armstrong as Hansel (Ideation); Court Jester and actor Millie Hanford as Gretel (A Paintbox of Clowns) and fellow Court Jester and actor Jared Corbin (Easy Money) as Hansel and Gretel’s dad, the witch, the witch pretending to be the stepmother and the King of the Birds.

“Jared will be quite busy!” Bain says.

Hansel and Gretel is sure to be a vibrant and joyous kids show audiences have come to expect from The Court, with plenty of chances for small audience members to get involved with the performance.

While there is a little darkness inherent in the story of Hansel and Gretel, Bain promises that it’s just the right amount for its young audience.

“There are pieces that are a bit spooky. It does involve Hansel and Gretel getting lost in the forest and the witch trying to eat them – and it’s hard to tell the story without that – but (spoilers!) it all turns out okay in the end. I think if you’re going to do these shows; the traditional fairy-tales, you want to use what’s there, rather than inventing something else. Kids like spooky things: when it’s a bit gross or a bit scary, but in a cool, fun way they’re quite into it.”

Hansel and Gretel runs at The Court Theatre as part of New Zealand Theatre Month from 29 September – 13 October 2018 with a relaxed performance of the show being hosted on 13th October at 11am. Recommended ages are 3 – 7 with all tickets $10.

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Hansel                                                                  John Armstrong
Gretel                                                                   Millie Hanford
Dad/Witch/Kind of Birds                               Jared Corbin


Writer & Director                                             Dan Bain
Set Designer                                                       Nigel Kerr
Costume Designer                                           Hayley Douglas
Lighting Designer                                             Giles Tanner
Sound Designer                                                Matt Short
Stage Manager                                                  Jordan Keyzer

Ticket Prices
All tickets                                                            $10

Show Times (29 September – 13 October):
●             Monday – Friday                               11am and 1pm
●             Saturday 29th September              11am
●             Saturday 6th October                      11am
●             Saturday 13th October                    1pm
●             Relaxed Performance                     Saturday 13th October, 11am

Bookings: phone 03 963 0870 or visit www.courttheatre.org.nz