Father (The Woodcutter):
Street Theatre Troupe:
Jack Brotherton/Ollie Edwards
Poppy Pinkster/Holly Fleetwood
Barney Nuttall/James Caitley
Cordelia Tarbrooke/Daisy Wellstead
Patrick Withey, George Plant,
Georgia Ashford-Miller, Maisy Fogg
Inseo Jung & Abby Sparrow
Dillon Berry & Pete White
On one of the coldest nights of the year I venture to Frome where Merlin Theatre Productions are presenting Hansel and Gretel. On arrival in the foyer I was overcome with the delicious aroma of mulled wine. I knew that Christmas was well and truly on the way.
This new musical version was written and directed by Claudia Pepler so I knew that the audience were going to be in safe hands. This was indeed a delightful Fairy Tale story with some pantomime elements included.This was a very tight production and the direction faithfully brought the script alive. With the strong principals, ensemble and dancers this show transported us to another era. Full use was made of the available space, utilising all entrances and exits including the back of the theatre on several occasions.Sets were relatively simple but of an excellent design and the transformation of cottages from outside to inside worked incredibly well. Some scene changes were extremely noisy during Act 1 though. A colourful and atmospheric lighting plot also contributed effectively to this fairy tale although sound at times was distorted.
All costumes were worn well by Principals, ensemble and the Cinnamon Team. I adored the ‘ Gingerbreads’ and the construction of Weasel was totally realistic.
Lines were delivered assuredly although I did detect hesitancy from time to time by a couple of principal cast.For me there were some very memorable scenes. I certainly enjoyed the ‘jolly’ performance by the Travelling Theatre Troup. This village scene added additional pace and energy to the production and those ‘pantomime ingredients’ were beginning to shine through. Well done George and Georgia.Hansel (Jack Brotherton) and Gretel (Holly Fleetwood) showed commitment to their roles and warmed to their audience immediately.I would never be forgiven if I did not mention the talents of Dillion Berry and Pete White who played the roles of Jake and Will Grimm. Here were two very funny and energetic performers who had mastered their art of comic timing. A sound performance.
Although this was a seasonal show with a number of pantomime factors missing you certainly put together a production that entertained and enthralled.
Thank you for inviting me.
SFD Moderation by Nigel Ford