Hansel and Gretel - Lyngo Theatre




Went to see you last Sunday in the Riverbank theatre Newbridge. Thoroughly enjoyed your production of Hansel and Gretel. Everything was great set design, acting, humour and storyline. Excellent ten out of ten
Looking forward to seeing you again. FB


‘My favourite part of the performance was when human witch eater got pushed in the lava hot oven. Also I really liked it when they threw the lights to each other because it looked like magic!’  

‘The actors who played Hansel and Gretel were amazing! My favourite part of the show was at the end when Hansel and Gretel pushed the nasty witch headfirst into the red, hot fire. Also we liked the way the actors changed their voice to become different characters. We really enjoyed our trip to the theatre and hope to go again someday!’  

 ‘The performance was amazing because it was really funny. My favourite bit was when Hansel sneaked up on the horrible witch and pushed her head first into the red hot oven!’  

‘The stage looked beautiful as the lights looked like stars. My favourite bit was when Hansel pushed the horrible witch headfirst into the blistering, hot oven! Also I liked the way the actors changed their body and voices to become different characters. That was very clever!’  

‘It was quite a curious setting at the start with the dark gloomy lighting but we were all amazed when the lights slowly started to glimmer. Through the show there were a number of humorous and joyful songs that made us the audience feel both calm and exhilarated. The scenery and props were few throughout the play but very inventive helped our imaginations.

Surprisingly there were only 2 actors to perform 6 fascinating characters. Our favourite was Hansel because of his joke about the “fat” sheep.

Overall we really enjoyed this entertaining show and recommend others to go see it!’

 ‘We all enjoyed the play very much. It was a very interesting, clever version of the story. The best parts, of many, were the clever way the witches were `put in the oven`, the way the cast moved their beds around and the bird that flew.  It is amazing that 2 actors can perform all the roles and make it look so good. Well done to both of them. As a class we give it a score out of 10 out of 10.’

‘Today I went to the theatre to see Hansel and Gretel. It was fantastic I really want to go again because it was the best theatre trip in the world. The bit I like best is the bit when they were licking the ice cream off the roof and when Hansel made the bird fly. I really loved it. PS can we come again?’

 ‘Your act was great. I loved it and the whole class loved it. I hope the next one is great, just like the one we just watched. I hope it is funny and enjoyable. The first one was fantastic and all of us heard you. The bit that I liked best was the bit when the mum locked them out because I like horrible stuff. I loved meeting you. Thank you.’

‘Thank you for inviting us to see 'Hansel and Gretel' this morning. It was fabulous. We all loved the performance, especially the bit where Hansel ate the ice cream from the roof of the house and when Hansel made the bird fly. Many of us found the play very funny in places… We were very impressed with it all.’ 

‘To Marcello, Patrick, Carlo, Elena and Emilia This is to say a huge THANK YOU for completely engaging our children at the performance on Saturday - it was absolutely delightful. Wishing you continued success with your future productions; I shall keep an eye on your website and am happy to recommend the experience to family and friends. Regards, Anne’


If you were to boil the essence of Hansel and Gretel down to its bones - poverty, child abandonment and cannibalism - it would make for an unlikely children’s show.
But from this most grim of Grimm’s fairy tales, Lyngo Theatre have created a captivating show.

A two-hander, Francesca Anderson plays Gretel, the step-mother and one of the witches, while her colleague Adam Jessop plays the woodcutter father and the other witch.

The changes in character are well handled, so that even younger audience members could keep track of who is being portrayed.

The lighting is atmospheric and the stage is filled with rustic-looking props that are used to great effect throughout - whether it’s in bed at the family home, lost in the woods or the climactic scenes with the witches.

The show is billed as being for ages four and over, and there were certainly a few very young children in the opening day’s audience. The attention of our two, who are at the very bottom of that scale, wandered occasionally, but the engaging songs and imaginative staging soon brought them right back.

And when the children stumble on a house made of sweets and encounter the witches – Anthrax and Listeria – our boys are riveted. Comic rather than threatening, Anderson and Jessop are clearly having a ball with the characters.

This is no panto, but the actors do break the fourth wall occasionally, notably when the witches sing about the ‘sweet little children’ and prowl the audience.

If you’re looking for a suitable alternative to panto for younger children, this is a worthy choice. It entertains without patronising its younger patrons, but there is something for everyone to enjoy in this lovingly staged show.

Until December 30.


Concentrated Christmas production with forceful impact.

A cut-down, two-person version of well-known folk-tales like Hansel and Gretel isn't normally my idea of fun. It makes economic sense for a small-scale venue like the Met, but the doubling and other strategies needed when the same two actors are playing multiple parts and trying to impress as a range of characters each, easily threatens to short-change young viewers as writer, director and performers struggle with the imposed limitations.

But Lyngo Theatre, whose expert way with theatre for the young is evident in their work, has devised a way to make maximum impact with limited means; so much that the two-hander format becomes a virtue.

It helps focus in a show aimed at 4+, as actors Amy Michaels and Robin Brockway become guides through the story; not as narrators but by quick character changes. A couple of alterations in elements of costume and a change of stance move Brockway between Hansel and his good-natured but unassertive father.

More noticeably, because the contrast's greater, Michaels' bright and lively Gretel physically sags and vocally deepens into a stepmother whose manner any child would recognise as chilly-going-on-freezing. Both actors later function as owners of the sweetly luring sweetie-house, she with a trail of flame-red hair, he under a sort of Davy Crockett hat needing a severe trim.

Scenery's limited, but economically used; principally a couple of mobile seats with front coverings used as beds. Hansel and Gretel lie together as brother and sister; the parents' bed-talk is colder with a sense of estrangement provided as the 'beds' wheel at angles to each other, joined only narrowly at the head.

Hansel recurrently calls himself stupid when his plans fail. It's clear where the low self-esteem comes from, as their Stepmother repeatedly uses the term about the children. Dark though the setting is, it's this constant step-parental put-down that marks the children's real deprivation. A contrastingly hopeful light comes with a few moments of humour, but mostly through the resilience and resourcefulness shown, first by Hansel with his tracking devices, then Gretel as enforced Witches' skivvy, in asserting their active roles in the story.