Tag Archives: Hansel and Gretel


Scottish Opera premieres Humperdinck’s enchanting Hansel and Gretel in the latest Scottish Opera: On Screen, filmed at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal on 19 December. The whole family can immerse themselves in this modern adaptation of the classic fairy tale from Wednesday 10 February at 6pm, via the Scottish Opera website. Before then, BBC Radio Scotland will feature audio excerpts from the performance as part of Classics Unwrapped, presented by Jamie MacDougall, on 7 February.

Sung in English, with staging by Daisy Evans, this vivid and joyful reimagining of Humperdinck’s opera tells the heart-warming story of two children and their journey from an impoverished home, into the mystery and danger of the woods. Brought to life by Daisy’s unique staging, with a Christmas-crazed witch and a shopping trolley full of sugary sweets and garish goodies, Hansel and Gretel seem a long way from their simple family life. Packed full of charm and sparkle this production is an ideal anytime treat for children and adults alike, sure to lift spirits and transport audiences from behind the screen to a world of hope and wonder. Although Hansel and Gretel is an opera traditionally associated with Christmas, Daisy’s new production celebrates the opera’s joy and hope that are just as powerful and relevant whatever the season.

David Parry conducts a cast including Kathleen Ferrier Award-winner Kitty Whately as Hansel, Rhian Lois (La bohème 2020) as Gretel, ENO Harewood Artist Nadine Benjamin as Mother and The Witch, Phillip Rhodes as Father and former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Charlie Drummond (Così fan tutte, 2020) as The Sandman and The Dew Fairy, in a translation by David Pountney and with a reduced orchestration by Derek Clark. Humperdinck’s chorus of gingerbread children is performed by a chorus of four adults.

Daisy Evans said: ‘This show is fun for all the family, bright colours, big energy and plenty of glitter! With the current pandemic, everybody has had a difficult Christmas, so I wanted it to be about finding joy where we can, and about families celebrating together. And I also want it to encourage people to come back to the theatre, and to bring their children with them – to make them want to be part of this experience, and to invest in it as part of our culture.’

Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark said: ‘Despite a prolific composing career, Humperdinck’s reputation rests solely on this one opera. The combination of a straightforward fairy tale with a musical language which owes a heavy debt to Wagner may seem an unlikely one, but in Hansel and Gretel, the mixture of simple tunes, like the famous Dance duet, thrilling orchestral passages such as the Witch’s Ride and the Dream pantomime, and the tender emotion of the children’s Evening Prayer produces a masterpiece which has kept its popularity for well over a century.’

Available to watch via Scottish Opera’s website www.scottishopera.org.uk. Scottish Opera has also produced an Audio Described version of the film, also available to watch via the Company’s website. This is the latest in Scottish Opera’s Audio Described opera films, all of which have proved extremely popular with viewers.

Find out more about Daisy Evans staging of Humperdinck’s fairy tale opera in an exclusive interview: www.scottishopera.org.uk/news/an-exclusive-interview-with-daisy-evans-staging-hansel-gretel/

IMAGE: James Glossop

FEATURE: Scottish Ballet faces in focus with M∙A∙C

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Courtesy Scottish Ballet click to enlarge

Today’s mini post is an insight into the makeup design for Scottish Ballet’s Hansel and Gretel.

Helping to bring the magical beings of Hansel and Gretel to life is make-up sponsor M∙A∙C who have worked with costume designer Gary Harris to create the fantastical looks of each character.

“I loved Gary Harris’ designs, it was clear that make-up would play an important part in his vision” explains M∙A∙C Senior Make-Up Artist Caroline Donnelly, “with so many characters and some dancers performing more than one role, my challenge was to create looks that could be adapted easily, quickly and still look incredible.  I’ve created special M∙A∙C face charts (like paint-by-numbers for the face) and will be teaching the dancers how to recreate these looks themselves for each performance.”

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Courtesy Scottish Ballet click to enlarge

Hansel and Gretel is touring Scotland throughout January then visits Newcastle and Belfast. Details below:

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 12.12.35GLASGOW  – Theatre Royal 
Tue 10 Dec – Sat 28 Dec 2013
full details

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EDINBURGH  – Festival Theatre
Wed 8 Jan – Sat 11 Jan 2014
full details

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ABERDEEN  – His Majesty’s Theatre
Wed 15 Jan – Sat 18 Jan 2014
full details

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INVERNESS  – Eden Court
Wed 22 Jan – Sat 25 Jan 2014
full details

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NEWCASTLE – Theatre Royal
Wed 29 Jan – Sat 1 Feb 2014
full details

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BELFAST – Royal Opera House
Wed 5 Feb – Sat 8 Feb 2014
full details

NEWS: The perfect Christmas experience with Scottish Ballet and Blythswood Square


Scottish Ballet and the wonderful Blythswood Square Hotel and Spa have teamed up to bring you the perfect festive day out. 


This winter, Scottish Ballet are offering up their own tasty new treat with the world premiere of the fantastical Hansel & Gretel. This delightfully inventive, brand new Hansel & Gretel takes creative twists and turns inspired by the Grimm Brother’s famous fairy tale – and the stories and imagination of the people of Scotland, gathered from a year-long country-wide initiative called Hansel & Gretel and Me.

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Photo by Christina Reilly © Scottish Ballet used with permission Scottish Ballet do not copy, alter or reproduce

In Glasgow you can turn a trip to the ballet into a truly magical day out by adding an extra special Hansel and Gretel Afternoon Tea and accompanying cocktail. The beautiful Blythswood Square Hotel and Spa have created a tea menu to temp even the most jaded of palates; from spicy gingerbread men, melt in the mouth meringues to popping candy carrot cake, there’s even a mouth-watering cocktail The Woodcutter’s Wife if tea is too tame for you.



A selection of sandwiches, scones and sweet treats inspired by Hansel & Gretel.

Priced £22 per person.


Woodcutter’s Wife Cocktail


A tantalising cocktail inspired by the classic childhood fable. A combination Martin Miller’s Gin with Amaro Nonino, fresh lemon juice, lemon curd and ginger syrup, candied peach pureé and a splash of egg white. Shaken and served punch style with crumbled puff candy on top.

Priced £9.75 per cocktail.

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This weekend 25 of Glasgow’s most gorgeous bloggers got the chance to sample the whole wonderful package from morning cocktails to afternoon tea and sandwiches to the beautiful ballet itself and as a truly magical Christmas experience this is hard to beat. If you want the perfect Christmas treat visit: 

http://www.townhousecompany.com/blythswoodsquare/ and http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/

photoTerms and Conditions:

Hansel & Gretel specials are subject to availability and valid from the 3rd December 2013 until 31st January 2014.


Hansel and Gretel is at the Theatre Royal in  Glasgow from 10 – 28 December, then touring: Edinburgh (8 – 11 January), Aberdeen (15 – 18 January), Inverness (22 – 25 January), Newcastle (29 January – 1 February) and Belfast (5 – 8 February).


Eve Mutso and Company dancers in Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel. Photograph by Andy Ross.

REVIEW: Hansel and Gretel – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

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Andrew Peasgood and Bethany Kingsley-Garner as Hansel & Gretel by Christina Riley. © Scottish Ballet used with permission Scottish Ballet do not copy, alter or reproduce.

In Hansel and Gretel, Christopher Hampson’s premier ballet since joining the company in 2012, Scottish Ballet has their first new work in six years. A sparkling little jewel of a show, even if it is, at times, a little too sanitized a version of the original Grimm fairy tale; there’s no wicked stepmother here, just two mischievous kids (Andrew Peasgood & Bethany Kingsley-Garner) with a sense of adventure, loved by their boozy, chain-smoking, slightly neglectful parents (the always stunning Eve Mutso and Erik Cavallari).

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Erik Cavallari and Eve Mutso as Mother and Father. Photo by Christina Reilly © Scottish Ballet used with permission Scottish Ballet do not copy, alter or reproduce.

Set in an un-named town sometime in the 50’s/60’s, there are beehives, headscarves, winged specs and even a black leather-clad biker gang The Ravens, beautifully danced with precision by Daniel Davidson, Rimbaud Patron and Thomas Edwards. There’s also a glamorous dream sequence with mother and father transformed into Grace Kelly and Cary Grant à la To Catch a Thief. The piece also abounds with wonderful witty touches like the Scottish Mother’s Pride loaf used to create the famous breadcrumb trail.

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© Scottish Ballet used with permission Scottish Ballet do not copy, alter or reproduce.

Kingsley-Garner and Peasgood achieve the not easy feat of convincingly portraying the childish pair and do so with ease. Mutso, is as usual graceful and eye-catching (in the role of mother in this cast), Luciana Ravizzi as the Witch is amusing when transformed from ethereal being to old crone but somewhat expressionless (or rather fixed faced) in the earlier sequences and Victor Zarallo is suitably sinister as the sinuous Sandman.

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Victor Zarallo as the Sandman by Christina Riley. © Scottish Ballet used with permission Scottish Ballet do not copy, alter or reproduce.

Humperdinck’s music is easy on the ear in this cut and paste version from his opera of the same name, it is mixed in with snippets from his version of Sleeping Beauty, added to retain the flow of the narrative. The sets are enchantingly designed too with some nice Tim Burton-esque details. Hampson’s choreography is varied, original and highly watchable and showcases his company well. If any criticism were to be levelled at the whole endeavor then, for a Christmas ballet, it is a little lacking in the all-out glitz ensemble pieces, usually worked in to enchant the younger members of the audience, that said, there is plenty of sparkle, a lot of laughs and there’s no more enjoyable or magical way to spend the pre-Christmas period. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket while you can.

This Wednesday (18th December) Scottish Ballet are broadcasting a live webcast.

Broadcasting live from Theatre Royal Glasgow where the dancers will be warming up on stage for a performance of Hansel & Gretel. You will be taken into the wings and behind the curtain to take a look at the extensive and eccentric props used and hear artistic director and choreographer of the work, Christopher Hampson and the dancers talk about what the creation of this world premiere has been like. 

The webcast will stream at 4.30pm on Wed 18 Dec and as always, you’ll be able to send in your questions for Christopher and the team to be answered during the webcast. Email them to christina.riley@scottishballet.co.uk or tweet them to us @scottishballet with the hashtag #SB_Webcast.

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Find it here:


Runs until 28 December at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow then touring throughout Scotland and visiting Newcastle and Belfast.

For more information on Scottish Ballet visit:


*Look out for the next article featuring Scottish Ballet, The Blythswood Hotel and Spa and their wonderful Hansel and Gretel themed afternoon tea and cocktails available now.


Hallowe’en special make-up tutorial from Scottish Ballet

In preparation for Scottish Ballet’s Christmas spectacular Hansel and Gretel the company have today released a Hallowe’en make-up tutorial created by MAC Senior Make Up Artist Caroline Donnelly and  inspired by the ballet’s famous Wicked Witch.

The original video can be found here and below:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy1Xqo6py-U