Review: Hansel & Gretel at The Mac

Hansel & Gretel, the classic fairytale about a brother and sister comes to The Mac.

This isn’t your typical Hansel & Gretel story though. In fact the only connection is the examination of family life, the hint of greed from the parents and the witch who eats little children.

This local musical production and original story starts off beautifully with Hansel and Gretel in their home bonding and being typical siblings.

Living in an era of commercialism when more is more at Christmas, their parents want the kids to have the best Christmas ever, and that involves more more more. The kids don’t agree and don’t want all the stuff because they know mum and dad can’t really afford it. But, a trip to the shopping centre follows, and it all gets weird. The kids are locked in the shopping centre and they enter another world of super heroes, a candy witch, and lots of weird goings on.

I initially thought OH NO! when the shopping mall was transported to another dimension. But it’s interesting, I totally got into it and ended up thoroughly enjoying the show. It’s not just for kids after all.

The music is fantastic, composer Garth McConaghie has created a West End worthy score, it’s pure musical theatre with songs that wouldn’t be out of place in a huge Broadway musical theatre production. Awesome stuff! I loved!

It helps that’s the cast is fantastic. Michael Drake and Rosie Barry who play Hansel & Gretel are super talented and a pleasure to watch and listen to. Colette Lennon, The Sugar Witch is menacing and belts out the big tunes with ease.

The Sugar Witch

The rest of the cast are great and their costumes are the best I’ve seen in the Mac. I loved the Big Bad Wolf, but one of the biggest laughs of the night was when Little Red Riding hood makes an appearance.. and talks.

The Mac can sometimes be so off the wall that a production just doesn’t work as well as it should, that’s theatre for you, but Hansel & Gretel is a really great Christmas show with a fantastic message we should all take on board. Christmas isn’t all about more stuff, more food, more of everything. It should be about the simple things, spending time with the people you love, giving back, appreciating what you’ve got.

Go, watch, enjoy, be inspired, be festive.


Hansel & Gretel at The Mac

Run ends 7th Jan 18

Post Author: Belfast Times

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