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Hansel and Gretel - Nottingham Playhouse Review

Reviewed by Bliss Warland-Edge
Disclaimer: tickets were gifted in return for an honest review

Nottingham Playhouse presents a cosy confectionary delight for the little ‘uns this winter with Monika Johnson’s family-friendly adaptation of Hansel and Gretel, directed by Beth Shouler. This show is puppets and dance parties galore! Fizzing with energy from our leads Maya Thompson (Gretel) and Megan Vaughan-Thomas (Hansel/ Witchtastic), with dollops of light-hearted humour for the kids- and for the inner kids of the grown-ups in the room.

Photo by Pamela Raith
Samuel Fransch welcomes us with a soft, round set, with clever thread trees and sequinned sweet-piles, as well as an array of colourful blankets scattered around the stage for the kids to watch closely to the magic of the everchanging scene before them. Delicate touches really make this a wonderful day or evening out, with Thompson and Vaughan-Thomas already in character chatting away with the kids and parents throughout the set before the show and gathering information to be sprinkled in later on, really making the kids feel special and part of the show.

Lucy Glassbrook’s masterful choregraphed movements whisk us through the tale, gently shifting the audience’s attention from an interactive screen with characters and inclusive captions, to a small frog puppet boogeying and educating a bemused Hansel- to a dramatic stand-off between the duo and the scary Witchtastic inside her sugary home! All noticeably enhanced by the effective lighting design by Laura Wolczyk and musical composition by David Gibb.

Vaughan-Thomas’ broad theatre and circus expertise is clear through her multiple character play and physical comedy, as well as her many musical numbers throughout the performance. The show overall is a flowing dance of comedic timing and role swapping between Vaughan-Thomas and Thompson, a highlight in particular being Thompson’s side-splittingly hilarious duck puppet character, with both kids and grown-ups giggling long past his appearance!

Photo by Pamela Raith

A joyous, simplistic, up-beat show, with lots of interactive moments crafted for excitable small children, this sweet adventure is the perfect winter warmer for a cold afternoon this Christmas season.


Hansel and Gretel plays at Nottingham Playhouse until Sunday 31st December 2023. Tickets are available from

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