Also available as an interactive theatre play
session 'A Walk in the Woods' with
A playful exploration of the familiar story
of Hansel and Gretel taking a leap from the reality of many family
situations into the fantasy of a gripping adventure story. Carefully
crafted to delight young children and their families through its
visual charm, and to touch people of all ages on a variety of levels,
DNA take a child-centred approach to create an unusual and engaging
version of this popular fairytale.
Sweetie Pie has at its heart the modern dilemma
of children in single parent families today. Kes and Lily, played
by puppets, love their father but Lily will not accept Dad's new
girlfriend Lizzie and tries to convince Kes of Lizzies evil intent
by playing Hansel and Gretel with him. In a series of transformations,
children and parents are taken on a wondrous and chilling adventure
into the heart of the woods where a witch lives in a gingerbread
Hannah Ringham (pictured right) starred with
Adam Bennett in this production.
This production is a contemporary treatment
of Hansel and Gretel using rod puppetry, object theatre, physical
performance and an unusual adaptation of Victorian paper theatre.
Sweetie Pie has an original musical score by Jon Owen.
At a recent 'Enchanted Worlds' exhibition of art and artefacts
inspired by fairy tales at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, the
set, puppets and props were featured. Here is the transcript of
the audio commentary.
"Dynamic New Animation (usually known as DNA) is a well-known
puppet theatre company based here in Preston. This is one of their
sets for a modern adaptation of the Hansel and Gretel story they
call Sweetie Pie. They use it to explore the issues of jealousy
and mistrust that can occur in today's single-parent families between
children and their parent's new partner.
In the DNA version of the story, the two children are called Kes
and Lily. They live with their father, whom they love, but they
don't get on with their father's new girlfriend Lizzie. Lily is
especially upset and believes that Lizzie has evil intentions towards
them. Lily tries to convince Kes that she is right and role-plays
Hansel and Gretel with him to show the parallels that are happening.
As the play unfolds both adults and children go into the woods,
where they meet the wicked witch in her gingerbread house - which
you can see here.
In the original Brothers Grimm version of the story, the children's
real mother who wants to get rid of them. In later versions it was
a step-mother. In either case, the evil mother goes against the
nurturing maternal ideal of western culture. In academic analysis
of the story, the wicked witch is thought to represent the evil
mother and so, by vanquishing the witch, the children are overcoming
problems they've faced at home."
Keeper of Fine Art
A workshop for up to
20 children making gingerbread men and houses can accompany this show.