A story about parents who do not have enough food to feed their family so they leave their two children out in the forest to starve doesn’t seem to be the premise for a great bedtime story, and yet parents have been reading it to their children for years.
The story, as you may have already guessed, is Hansel and Gretel by the Brothers Grimm. We continue to tell our children this story because the house built of sweets and the way the brother and sister worked together to beat the wicked witch is what our children remember – besides, they know we would never leave them alone in the woods.
As part of the Kypria International Festival 2018, the fairy-tale will be adapted for the stage next Friday in Limassol and Saturday in Nicosia for three performances.
Speaking about the performances, director Carmen Rouggeri said “Hansel and Gretel is a play presented like a tender fairytale, full of messages, in a story that can attract the interest of all ages. The show is full of colours and light, smart and humorous dialogues, beautiful melodies and songs. With an excellent cast and singers, immaculate choreography to the last detail, and as always, with breathtaking sets and costumes, this show will surely take our little friends away to an amazing world.”
The adaption of the story for the stage is a little different from the original and it does not present the parents as the culprits. Hansel and Gretel is set in a time when bad witches and good fairies existed deep in the forest. The two siblings lived in a poor little house, together with their father, Peter the sweeper, and their kindhearted but rather loud mother. The family was very poor, but the children forgot their hunger when they played together.
One day, while the kids were playing in the house, they accidentally spilled the milk that their mother had saved. In anger, their mother said “what have you done? Have you spilled the milk? How am I supposed to make rice pudding for you now? Get out of my sight.”
The siblings wanted to make up for what they had done and to please their mother, so they went out into the forest to look for strawberries to bring back to her.
There, they encountered singing birds, dancing flowers and other magical creatures of the forest. They also came across a dwarf, who got very angry when they made fun of him. “You’ll see what I’ll do to you,” he threatened.
The children lost track of time and, before they knew it, it was too dark to find their way back home. Three kind-hearted fairies protected them until the next morning. When they woke up, they found themselves in front of a house made of sweets. Its fence was made of cookies in the shape of children and its garden was full of delicacies. The children got excited and started tearing pieces off this bizarre house and eating them. Then they heard someone asking who was eating the house. And we all know who the voice belongs to.
Hansel and Gretel
Performance based on the story by the Grimm brothers. September 21. Pattihio Theatre, Limassol. 6pm. €5/10. In Greek. Tel: 70-002212
September 22. Strovolos Municipal Theatre, Nicosia. 6pm and 8.30pm. €5/10. In Greek. Tel: 70-002212