Hansel & Gretel (a nightmare in eight scenes)

By 2nd June 2018Concert

Hansel & Gretel

(a nightmare in eight scenes) 

Music: Matthew Kaner

Poetry: Simon Armitage

Direction & Supervising Designer: Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Goldfield Productions are proud to present their brand new touring production for 2018: a re-imagining of the famous tale, created by a stellar artistic team.

Hansel & Gretel was inspired by the visual creations of artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins. His quirky, humorous Hansel and Gretel characters had appeared as prints, in picture books and as a toy theatre for Pollocks Toy Shop. It seemed a natural development to bring these ideas to the stage using a much-loved story framework to tell of a darker, glittering Hansel & Gretel for the 21st century.

This unique touring production brings together the commissioned poetry of Simon Armitage in a new extended lyrical ‘libretto’ entwined with chamber music by Matthew Kaner, one of the most original voices of his generation.  The Hansel and Gretel characters originally created by Hicks-Jenkins have been reimagined and brought to life under his direction by three further outstanding artists: a puppet-maker, a model-maker and a paper-cutter.

Kaner’s ensemble features an unusual dark-hued collective of viola, cello, cor anglais, clarinet and horn, supplemented by the eerie childhood sounds of toy pianos led by the remarkable story-teller and soprano Adey Grummet. Hansel & Gretel delves deeply into the twisted themes of the original tale, creating an uneasy yet curiously familiar fairytale landscape where nothing is quite as it seems….

Hansel & Gretel outreach focusses on the themes of home and homelessness and the power of storytelling. Activities include story-making workshops, a pop up fairy-tale touring production for our youngest audiences, large scale bespoke community events and site-specific storytelling theatre productions for young people.

(suitable for adults, teenagers and adventurous children over 10)


Listings information: touring dates 2018

  • Cheltenham Festival WORLD PREMIERE     7th July
  • Lichfield Festival ‘book at bedtime’, Lichfield Guildhall   13th July
  • Lichfield Festival matinee, Garrick Theatre 14th July
  • Three Choirs Festival, Tomkins Theatre    29th July
  • Oxford Contemporary Music, St Barnabas Church 14th September
  • Jack Lyons Concert Hall, York 3rd October
  • Barbican Milton Court Concert Hall LONDON PREMIERE 12th October
  • Canterbury Festival,  Colyer-Fergusson Concert Hall 21st October
  • Bath Spa University, Michael Tippett Centre  24th October
  • Letchworth, Broadway Theatre  4th November



Enter a world of light and shadow, of darkness and deception, a helter-skelter journey through ghostly horizons and feasts of sweetness.…

Creatives, cast & crew

Music: Matthew Kaner

Poetry:  Simon Armitage

Direction & Supervising Designer: Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Dramaturgy: Caroline Clegg

Research & Advisor: Paul Barker

Producer: Kate Romano (for Goldfield Productions)

Puppets: Jan Zalud

Paper cuts: Peter Lloyd

Models: Phil Cooper

Cameraman & Animations Editor: Pete Telfer

Projections & onstage camera: Jon Street

Set construction: Jon Street

Lighting design: David Abra

SM / DSM: Andy Shewan

Puppet costumes: Oonagh Creighton-Griffiths

Narrator: Adey Grummet

Puppeteer: Diana Ford

Puppeteer: Lizzie Wort

Music performed by Goldfield Ensemble

Anna Durance – oboe, cor anglais & toy piano

Kate Romano – clarinets

Laetitia Stott – horn & toy piano

Bridget Carey – viola

Toby Turton – cello


Goldfield Productions are grateful to the following Technical Theatre students at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama for their creative work and support during the development of Hansel & Gretel.

Lighting:  Lewis Hannaby, Danielle Utley & Rohan McDermott

Stage Management: Lois Sime, Sissel Nielsen & Mia Nielsen

Production Management: Tamsin Youngson

Hansel & Gretel is kindly supported by

Arts Council England, John S Cohen Foundation, Colwinston Trust, Double O Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Leche Trust, PRS Foundation, Radcliffe Trust, RVW Trust

Goldfield Productions would like to acknowledge the kind support of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in the development of Hansel & Gretel.

Additional marekting in association with

Artistic Director Kate Romano said: ‘Goldfield Productions are thrilled to work with this superb team. Our three artists – Armitage, Kaner and Hicks-Jenkins – have reimagined the famous tale for modern times, hinting at dark contemporary themes amongst the more familiar elements. Fairystories remain our most vital connection with the minds of ordinary people – wonderful, shocking, humorous… and Hansel & Gretel embraces all of this’

Composer Matthew Kaner said: ‘Simon’s poetry is an inspiration to work with. It’s a helter-skelter journey from ghostly foreboding horizons to a pleasure park of sweet feasts and its pushed my music into new territories.’

Director and supervising designer Clive Hicks-Jenkins said: ‘Our producer has given us an opportunity to combine music, poetry and art into a new, performed work. While Hansel & Gretel doesn’t flinch from the terrifying source material, the horrors are leavened by the wit and lyricism of Simon’s text, threaded through the sinister majesty of Matthew’s music. An outstanding company of actor, puppeteers and musicians breathes life into an old tale reimagined and revitalised’.

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