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REVIEW: Hansel and Gretel at New Mills Art Theatre

The cast at New Mills Art Theatre are performing a pantomime version of the classic story Hansel and Gretel, with tickets available for three more shows this weekend.


Well, here we are again, it’s Panto time at the New Mills Art Theatre. This year it’s Hansel & Gretel, not the best known Pantomime in the professional world, however, the Friends of the Art Theatre have done a sterling job putting together a show that entertains the whole family.

As the curtain goes up we are introduced to the Good Fairy ‘Bluebell’ played by Becky Towner-Yates and then the scary witch ‘Nightshade’ - an excellent performance by Angela Hulme, her cackle sent shivers down my spine!

We are then taken into the first number set in the village square - the stage is full, bright and colourful, as are the costumes - and it’s good to see so many young people in the cast. 

I have to say the choreography throughout the show is some of the best I’ve seen at the Art Theatre - well done Cathryn Yates!

We are introduced to the other principle characters who all gave fine performances, but special mention has to go to ‘Wally’ Stewart Bowden who entertained the audience throughout - his sense of comic timing was brilliant! 

The Dame ‘Peggy Pumpernickel’ Darren Cooper was larger than life and very funny.  Then there was ‘Hansel’ Jake Hornsey and ‘Gretel’ Samantha Provart who throughout the show held centre stage, their confidence and ability was exceptional.

The story line flows, with some great humour and good staging well directed by Rob Brittles.  The musical numbers are sung with feeling - Musical Directors Zoey Vickers and Adam Hutchins.

The proof that the show worked was the audience reaction, everyone was having a great time singing along, clapping, cheering and booing - all the things you want to see at a pantomime. 

It can only get better, as I saw the first night, of course there were the first night nerves - all I can say to the cast is relax and enjoy yourselves, you have a great traditional pantomime here!

If you would like to see Hansel and Gretel at New Mills Art Theatre on Jodrell Street, there are performances on Friday 7 February at 7.15pm and Saturday 8 February at 2.15pm and 7.15pm. 

Tickets are £12 for adults, £10 for Under 16s and boxes containing four seats are £50. You can buy them online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/arttheatrepantomime (booking fees may apply), by ringing the box office on 07983 344 862 or emailing friendsofthearttheatre@gmail.com.

Please note that children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Proceeds from ticket sales will go into the restoration fund for the Art Theatre.

Images: Mike Petch (mpphotographic.co.uk)


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