THE Unity theatre will be offering a family friendly alternative to panto with a new version of the classic folk tale Hansel and Gretel.
The production sticks quite closely to the traditional story, with the poor brother and sister sent into the forest to fend for themselves when there simply isn’t enough food to feed the whole family.
They are tempted inside a house made of gingerbread, where they are captured by an evil witch with a taste for the flesh of human children.
“In some places the story is quite sad but we’re contrasting that with a lot of visual comedy and finding the humour in the characters,” says the play’s director
Nina Hakiyianni, who is also artistic director of Ellesmoere Port-based Action Transport Theatre.
“There’s music in there as well. Patrick Dineen, who has worked on the Unity shows for many years, has created a real vibrant soundtrack which really moves the story along.”
The Unity’s version features a brand new character in the shape of the witch’s familiar, a crow played by James Davies, who also takes the part of the woodcutter.
Hansel and Gretel are played by Shawney Ross and Rebecca Illsley, with Holly Wilson-Guy as both the witch and the woodcutter’s wife.
“We’re trying to create a production that works on many levels – that the adults enjoy watching as much as the children.”
HANSEL and Gretel is at The Unity from December 4 to January 12. Tickets: adults £8-£12, concs £8-£10, under-16s £7-£8, family ticket £28-£34 (two full price and two under 16s tickets); 0844 873 2888, www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk