Review: Blyth’s version of Hansel and Gretel was ‘premiere’

Dress rehearsal for the Blyth Players latest production of  'The (almost) totally true story of Hansel and Gretel' (w130910-4a)
Dress rehearsal for the Blyth Players latest production of 'The (almost) totally true story of Hansel and Gretel' (w130910-4a)
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Blyth Players Youth Group staged a very unusual version of Hansel and Gretel at Barnby Memorial Hall this month.

Having found the script on the internet, directors Rebecca Nelson and Tracey Priest decided it would be ideal for the enthusiastic youth group and contacted the author of this version entitled The (Almost) Totally True Story of Hansel and Gretel.

Nothing out of the ordinary there you might think, except that the author, Steph DeFerie, actually lives in America and this performance was the British premiere of the play and probably, the world premiere to boot.

The young actors and dancers ranged in age from four to 21, the majority being teenagers. It was the teenage element that was exactly right for this play, because they absolutely understood the humour which was very tongue-in-cheek.

To get a feel for the play you would need to know that apart from Hansel and Gretel and their parents there were trainee fairies, a fairy godmother with a broken wand and an ill-fitting outfit, two FBI agents with a hint of the Blues Brothers about them, a talking mirror, a wolf and Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Goldilocks, three bears, three pigs a witch, Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk) and a cow with an identity crisis.

As always at Blyth there were actors planted in the audience to add an element of surprise, which worked very well.

What was so impressive about this production, with just short of 30 actors and dancers, was the total confidence of all those involved. Even the small four-year-old was given a line to say which she did perfectly. Well done Blyth Players Youth Group this was a very entertaining evening.

Although not quite on the lines of the traditional English pantomime this play could well become an alternative version.

Blyth Players pantomime The Three Musketeers runs 6th - 9th February 2014. For tickets call 0778 491 6250.

Wendy Fidoe