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Get lost in the woods with Hansel & Gretel this Christmas

Get lost in the woods with Hansel & Gretel this Christmas

Poverty, famine, cannibalistic witches - Hansel and Gretel is perhaps one of history's darkest bedtime stories.

Scottish Ballet are the latest to tackle the classic Grimm's fairytale, taking us on a journey into the depths of the forest towards that infamous Gingerbread House.

Thankfully the Scottish Ballet production is not as macabre as the Grimm's original, but rather a magical, family-friendly performance in which toys spring to life, a tremendous banquet takes place and the witch tricks us all with her beauty.

  (Andy Ross)
via STV via STV

Witch's trickery

"There is a darkness to the story, as with all fairy tales there is a darkness," said Christopher Hampson, Hansel & Gretel's choreographer and artistic director.

"We don't shy away from that in this production. The witch is eventually very, very evil.

"In Act One she is beautiful, but by Act Two we see her quite literally warts and all.

"The story itself is one most people have heard a version of. I like that it's a story that transcends generations, it's known to everybody."

  (Andy Ross)
via STV via STV

The forest banquet

With music from Engelbert Humperdinck's opera, uniquely reinterpreted for Scottish Ballet, the audience is guided through the woods by a melodic, captivating score.

Striking make-up, set design and costume also help pull the audience into the magical world of Hansel, Gretel and the witch.

"I have two favourite scenes," said Christopher.

"The first is the forest banquet, it's a scene in which Hansel and Gretel eat food for days.

"All of their favourites - roast dinners, hamburgers and chips, desserts.

"Then there's Act Two. All of Act Two is my favourite. It's when the witch transforms..."

  (Andy Ross)
via STV via STV

Hansel & Gretel and Me

Hansel & Gretel's production was also heavily influenced by the people of Scotland.

During their year-long initiative 'Hansel & Gretel and me', Scottish Ballet producers excavated the imaginations of adults and children from across Scotland, gathering their interpretations of the classic childhood tale.

The ballet company even enlisted some young performers from each town they visited, inviting them to grace the stage with Scotland's finest ballet dancers.

"We spoke to people of all generations and all walks of life, trying to harvest ideas and research for the production," said Chris.

"We wanted every city we visited, whether it be Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness - to feel a sense of ownership of the production."

As well as the main show, Scottish Ballet are hosting a shorter ballet - Wee Hansel & Gretel – in a specially adapted performance for pre-school children and their families.

  (Andy Ross)
via STV via STV

"It's a really magical evening at the theatre," said Christopher.

"It's a great story that people know very well, but the twists and turns in our production make it a magical event."

Are you going to Hansel & Gretel? Tweet us to @STVGlasgow to let us know what you think.

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