Hansel and Gretel by Ciaran McConville, adapted from the Brothers Grimm RTK Productions at The Ro
Rose Theatre Kingston
Rose Theatre, Kingston - 21 December 2018
Magic and Menace
Hansel and Gretel
by Ciaran McConville, adapted from the Brothers Grimm
RTK Productions at The Rose Theatre, Kingston until 6th January
A review by Mark Aspen
As a frequent visitor to Germany’s Black Forest, albeit in an open car in summertime, the setting of Hansel and Gretel should seem familiar, but in the winter of the Great Famine in fourteenth Century must have seemed a very different place. The Rose Theatre’s production takes us to a Black Forest of magic and of menace, expanding on the Brothers Grimm folk tale, to bring a riveting story to the stage, a story that is both frightening and touching in equal measure, “a story about the magic that is in all of us”.
“Once upon a time”, starts all good fairy tales, and this one is no exception. As the play opens, a book, fully the height of the Rose stage, slowly opens to reveal a townscape outside the town hall. As the story progresses it transforms, as panels slide across each other and videoed images of exquisite examples of the illustrator’s art create a series of enchanted landscapes in a whimsical style that is as delightful as it is inspired.
It is Christmas Eve in the walled town and the townsfolk celebrate their good fortune in having plenty to eat whilst neighbouring areas are badly affected by the famine. Gerhart, the town’s mayor, is popular with all, for this day is the day that he sends children of the deserving poor off on generous scholarships to improve their future. Or does he, for we hear him saying to himself, sotto voce, “What is the sacrifice of a child or two”? … …
Read Mark Aspen’s full review at www.markaspen.wordpress.com/2018/12/15/hans-gret
Photography by Mark Douet
Magic and Menace Hansel and Gretel by Ciaran Mc