Festive show, Hansel and Gretel is a real winner for the Brewery

THE stage at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal is transformed into a magical winter woodland as an international award-winning theatre company perform their enchanted Hansel and Gretel Christmas show.

The New International Encounter (NIE) adapted the classic fairytale with a mix of brilliantly fun live music, clowning, humour, language and storytelling.

The theatre was packed full of excited school children as the talented ensemble of multi-skilled actors welcomed the audience to the first half of the show.

Playing a cello, a guitar and a...bed pan, the cast got straight down to business as they began to explore the well-know fairytale.

Set in a central European forest, we heard how Hansel and Gretel and their father, played wonderfully by Klavs Rosell Westi and their ‘evil’ and ‘wicked’ Norwegian step-mother performed by Mia Hawk, were in the midst of a famine.

The brother and sister’s step-mother demands the children are sent into the forest and their petrified father succumbs to her demands.

Stefanie Mueller taking on the role of Gretel and Hansel, played by Kieran Edwards go off into the woods, leaving a trail of pebbles with the audience to help find their way back.

This was a fully-interactive show with the boundaries broken to involve the audience in the adventure.

The second half of the show began where it had all started – the children back at home with their parents after finding their way back through the forest.

As the final part of the show evolved, the tale got into full swing as Hansel and Gretel were lost in the winter woodland again, but this time they spot a gingerbread cottage...

This is where we meet the star of the show – the witch magnificently played by the very talented Carly Davis. The actress was not conventional in her portrayal of the terrifying, children-eating witch.

She arrived on stage dressed in tweed and some rather fetching spectacles. She captivated the audience, balancing her interpretation with comedy and song and we all know where the poor old witch ends up...

This was a wonderful performance of a well-known classic for children and adults of all ages. Educational, comedic and fully-interactive – a thoroughly great Christmas show that had the audience and me captivated from start to finish.

For performance times and to book you tickets, call the Box office on 01539 725133.

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