In March 2020, we were nearly ready to perform our flagship production of Hansel and Gretel, when COVID forced us to close down less than three weeks before our performance dates on 28 and 29 March. We were forced to mothball this very special show, a new adaptation of the Humperdinck opera, involving over 150 young people and children and partnerships with seven schools, Cambridge Youth Dance Company, OLEM Junior Choir and Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination.
Our production, with a new libretto by Caroline Coetzee and score arranged by Alastair Chilvers, gave life to the fairytale Forest, where anything is possible. We invited our audience to join two young children who find themselves lost among magical creatures, friendly and not so friendly.
As lockdown lifted we were able to arrange photoshoots and sound recordings to capture some of work created during the months of rehearsals and production workshops. We are currently fundraising to create a small video from the results.
In the meantime, here is a small taste of this beautiful show.
The production was supported by a generous grant from Arts Council England, with further grants for the Forest of Imagination (see below) from the Girton Town Charity and the North West Cambridge Development.
Sponsors included Woodfines, Cooke Curtis & Co, and Symrise, as well as numerous private donors.
We worked with partners Chesterton Community College, Cambridge Youth Dance Company, Sawston Village College, Bottisham Village College, Bottisham Primary School, Fen Ditton Primary School, and OLEM Junior Choir. In addition we commissioned Girton Glebe Primary School and Mayfield Primary School and Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination’s ArtScaper’s programme to create Hansel and Gretel’s Forest of Imagination as an installation for the foyer, leading the audience into the performance. There is more information about the contribution of all our partners here.