Press night for ‘Hansel & Gretel’ went off with a real bang on Wednesday night (09/12/09). And the positive feedback is already starting to filter back. With a four star review from The Guardian’s Michael Billington, amongst others, the box office is expected to be groaning under the weight of interest in coming weeks.The show itself is an exciting mix of physical performance, music and mad-cap hilarity which breathes new life into the ‘Christmas Panto’ and offers a fun alternative for what has become, for many, a tired tradition. Pantomimes? They’re behind you! Kneehigh’s indelible mark is gratefully rubber-stamped on proceedings and, although some younger children (under 5s) may find certain parts a little scary, ‘Hansel & Gretel’ provides laughs for all the family. A beautifully maleable set provides unexpected moments of innovation, such as Gretel’s convoluted mouse-trapping device reminiscent of the Honda ‘Cog’ advert (
). With energetic performances, clowning and a soundtrack which is beautifully scored, this has to be the best Christmas show on offer in Bristol this year. And as if that isn’t enough, underneath the stage in the creepy ‘horse-shoe’ – there are rooms decorated in the theme of the show which offer something extra for intrepid explorers – not to mention a house made entirely of bread.Be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.