Premiered at Dublin Theatre Festival 2015
‘Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.’
– C.S. Lewis
Fear is everywhere and you must not stray from the simple path. Into this world of threat and temptation two children are born. Their names have come down to us through the ages. But who were they first? From what reality was their legend born? What truth was so terrible that adults began to lie?
This is the True Story of Hansel and Gretel, a deliciously dark musical fable from Theatre Lovett, creators of the 2013 festival hit show A Feast of Bones. Featuring live music and an original score, this new play explores the darker colours of the rainbow in this bold retelling of a tale by the Brothers Grimm.
Presented by Theatre Lovett in association with Riverbank Arts centre.
Age range: 12+ and adults of all ages
Written by Louis Lovett
Directed by Muireann Ahern and Louis Lovett
Cast: Martin Brunsden, Clara Harte, Raymond Keane, Louis Lovett, Amelie Metcalfe, Michele Moran, Joseph McCarthy, Barry Grenham
Chorus: Isabel Costa Macedo, Charlene Craig, Rachael Hanaphy-Pigott, Cherley Kane, Donncha McDonagh, Max O'Neill.
Set and Lighting Design by Zia Holly | Costume Design by Liadain Kaminska | Make Up Artist Lorraine McCrann | Music by Louis Lovett and Nico Brown | Produced by Muireann Ahern | Project Administrator Charlene Craig | Prop Maker and Scenic Artist Molly O'Cathain | Stage Manager Mary Kilduff | Assistant Stage Manager Soazig Metrope | Production Manager Aidan Wallace and Peter Jordan
Photo credit: Ros Kavanagh
“A rousing and thoroughly enjoyable piece of theatre.... a constant pleasure to watch...an intriguing and immersive world.”
****The Reviews Hub
"We get a stark vignette, where a cannibalistic witch stands trial, a musical procession in which we meet the children, and even an audience with the “original” Gretel, a wheelchair-bound crone, all handsomely staged..."
The Irish Times
"Theatre Lovett's True story of Hansel and Gretel drips atmosphere."
“One of the country’s leading companies for young audiences challenges assumptions of the Grimms’ Hansel and Gretel. The sweet smell of baking batter drifted through the Smock Alley Boy’s School, as directors Louis Lovett and Muireann Ahern mounted set pieces suspicious of previous tellings: snuffing out a witch; rolling in an elderly Gretel in a wheelchair, her bloody mouth mysteriously bandaged. Are we to suspect the child heroes who enter the employ of a patisserie (an ominous Raymond Keane), their overly-possessive father (Lovett), or the addictive taste of sugar? With inventive use of the multi-tier auditorium and a haunting children’s choir, Theatre Lovett proved they are at the top of their game, as they dare to leave young audiences guessing of the cages in their lives.”
Musings in Intermissions by Chris McCormack Irish Top Ten of 2015
“Striking visual imagery.”
No More Workhorse
“It’s a play that must be seen and a story that must be heard.”
“Feels like the magic of Christmas wrapped in the fear of Halloween. Triumphantly great!”
“Massively accomplished production. Eerie, chilling, pure magic.”
"There’s amazing stuff baked into that True Story of Hansel and Gretel. Masterful storytelling."
"Fell in love with theatre all over again."
"Didn’t want to stir from my seat even well after the chilling finish. Stunning production."