My new stage work Hansel and Gretel (created in collaboration with poet Simon Armitage and artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins) got off to a fantastic start to a sold-out audience in the Parabola Theatre at Cheltenham Festival last Saturday. Adey Grummet and the Goldfield Ensemble gave a fantastic performance of the music and poetry, and the puppeteers (Lizzie Wort and Di Ford) played the roles of the children beautifully.
It was a delight to be able to share some of our creative process with the audience in the reception afterwards, and I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the tour.
There have been some lovely comments in the press. The Guardian review (4*) from Rian Evans is particularly good, recognising that ‘In this striking modern update… the children are refugees and the fairytale is a nightmare’ and highlighting the importance of the close relationship between all the art forms (poetry, visuals, music and puppetry) in presenting this new vision of the story. The full thing is here. There’s also an insightful little blog-post review of the piece here.
The tour now continues to Lichfield Festival (13 & 14 July – tickets here) and then Three Choirs Festival in Worcester (29 July – tickets here), before a little break over August. It then picks up again in September at the Oxford Contemporary Music Festival.
Phil Cooper (the wonderful artist who created most of the visuals in the show from Clive Hicks-Jenkins’ original designs) has made a beautiful collage (below) of the forest from Hansel and Gretel and relocated it just outside Lichfield Cathedral in preparation for the coming date this weekend. It looks just as though it belongs in the piece! Do check out his fantastic blog, which gives a fascinating account of his creative journey and involvement in the project from its earliest beginnings.
Full tour dates and booking details for the rest of the run are here on the diary page. Many thanks to John Nelson (group photo on stage) and my mother, Sabine Kaner (reception photos), for the lovely snaps taken at Cheltenham above.