Monday, 22 August 2016

A Local Rendition of Hansel & Gretel

I had introduced Baby to her first play The Incredible Book-Eating Boy last year and she enjoyed it immensely, so I have been looking out for affordable plays to take her to. 

I came across the Players Theatre Facebook page and saw that they were putting up a familiar Grimm Brothers classic Hansel & Gretel at Ulu Pandan Community Club. I bought the Preview tickets for the  play some time in June to get the second-row seats.
The theatre didn't start admitting the audience until 1.20pm, something I thought was unusual for a play. Admittedly, I don't watch plays or musicals frequently but my impression is that plays should start punctually.

The storyline is similar to the paperback classic but Players Theatre added in a few twists:
  • the stepmother had a short soliloquy about how her mother had tried persuading her not to marry the woodcutter
  • the stepmother hid the better food and money from the children
  • a crow being the guardian angel of the children
  • the addition of a bunny who helped the witch to trick the children 
  • the addition of a talking gingerbread man similar to the one in Shrek movies to help the children out of their predicament
As usual, Baby enjoyed the play while I dozed off at a certain part of the play. I had woken up at 3am yesterday so the stupor was getting to me after about a twelve-hour cycle, but I managed to wake up at one of the climaxes where the children were tricked into the sweets-and-chocolates house.

Hansel was portrayed as an impulsive and gullible boy who was easily bought over while Gretel was portrayed as a brainy girl who questioned what she thought was unusual eg. why did the witch have a house in the middle of the woods?

At the end of the play at 2.55pm, the actors thanked the audience and had a Q&A session for the children who, surprisingly, unabashedly shouted out their curious questions. Some of the questions asked were:
  • Why did you choose to put up Hansel & Gretel?
        (It's everything rolled into one ie. sweets and chocolates, children emerging successful)
  • What is the cage made of? 
        (Wood and PVC pipes)
  • Why did you make the cage (instead of purchasing it)? 
        (A big cage is hard to find and it's easier to customise it to what we want)
  • How long did it take for you to prepare for the play?
        (A little more than three weeks)
  • Is this your first performance?
        (For this play, yes. This is a preview and a preview is meant for you to do the actual acting on a stage and see how everything including the moving of the props fits in.)
  • What is the gingerbread man/bread made of?
  • How did you get out from the oven?
       (There is a covered opening at the back of the oven. After I was pushed into the oven, I got out from the opening.)
At the end of the Q&A session, children were welcomed to form a queue to take pictures with the actors. 
We were glad to have stayed for the Q&A :)

Baby loved Gretel!

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