Hansel & Gretel with David Durant

Hansel and Gretel go on a journey to an enchanted forest, where all is not quite as it seems… Will they be able to fend off the Wicked Witch and find their way home? The classic tale of mystery and magic to life through a blend of original song and humour by Courtyard Productions and is coming to the Swindon Arts Centre from the 18th to 20th of April. Prior to their visit we sat down with the show’s Director David Durant to find out more about the show.

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Thank you for your time David. What can audiences expect from Hansel & Gretel when it comes to the Arts Centre?

Well, what can I say? It is a fun, filled action pack show that has songs, puppets, mad nursery rhyme characters that pop up all over the place and lots to laugh at. But essentially audiences can expect to not only be entertained but leave with a great example of what it means to be a family and to love each other. The story takes us on an adventure where the main characters learn that they are not only a lot braver than they thought but that sticking together we have all we need.

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Images from The Courtyard

How long is the rehearsal process and what is involved?  

The rehearsal process is usually very short on these shows, about 6 days altogether. It would be fantastic to have all the time in the world to create but I am a big believer that you use the time you have. Each rehearsal is very full on, as we not only look at the individual characters story lines but how they walk, sound and interact with the world around them. This is very draining for the actors but important to make a credible and fun performance. We also look a lot at how the audience will feel in respect to what we are doing. As the show is for families we have to constant keep asking the question would a 6 year old find this funny? If not then we have to rethink what we’re doing and it’s great to explore this in the rehearsal room.

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Images from The Courtyard

What is the enduring appeal of Hansel & Gretel?

Hansel and Gretel is a classic fairy tale that explores themes of courage, overcoming fear, the role of family and how, with a bit of love, we can be successful with the important things. It looks at aspects of our lives that we can all relate to, especially the ‘growing up’ of Gretel as she and her brother Hansel go on an unexpected adventure in a deep dark wood. Many of our earliest childhood memories are of times spent in a forest or out at the park. So the story rings a deep cord within us. The story also looks at good vs evil through the eyes of a child and how we have to keep fighting to win. Having said all that it is also lots of fun, in which two children get the chance to get their own back on a nasty witch.

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Images from The Courtyard

What future projects are Courtyard working on?

Producing and maintaining our families work is very important to us at The Courtyard. In 2017 we will be producing our kids Christmas show: Little Red Riding Hood, adapting The Snow Queen for a tour in 2018, putting on our own production of Pride and Prejudice and of course running our Family Festival which now in its Third years looks to be the best yet!

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Hansel & Gretel will be at the Swindon Arts Centre from Tuesday 18th to Thursday 20th April.

For more information and to buy tickets please visit: http://bit.ly/HanselGretel17

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