Holsworthy Amateur Theatrical Society welcomed everyone back to enjoy their special rendition of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ for this years panto last week. 

Despite still feeling the affects of COVID, over the past couple of years HATS have managed to perform several successful shows including the HATS Golden Year back in July 2021 and this years panto was defiantly one of them.  

In celebration to 50 years of HATS to group travelled back in time to their very first show back in 1972. Using the same script with a few modern tweeks thrown in the group performed ‘Hansel and Gretel’, a story which would follow the brother and sister duo through a journey of defeating wicked witches, seeking out magical blue birds and even Satan the cat! 

Having never been to the 250 seater theatre before I was really taken back how warm, cosy and comfy and well attended it was.

The first act began and on came the performers. Sarah Leach playing Hansel and Beth Lock playing Gretel were a perfect brother and sister (or so we thought) duo and both had the most fantastic singing voices. 

And despite the pairs mother (Jill Harker) and father (Pete Whitehead) casting them out into the woods, due to a sneaky witches spell, they were always able to keep a smile on their face. I think everyones favourite trio were of course Widow Kranky (Phil Barfett), Heidy (Jodie Lawson) and Willie Schmell (Matt Long) who kept us entertained all night and performed some brilliant covers of the Vengaboys, Ghost Busters and many more. 

As the evening went on, Hansel and Gretel were on the search for their infamous Blue Bird (Brooke Pengilly) who saved the pair, a number of times, from getting into trouble. 

However, soon enough Witch Wobegone (Eve Earls) who lived in a beautiful, yet deceiving, gingerbread house, managed to lure the pair into her home and (almost) into the oven, all with the help her fantastically played sidekick, Satan the Cat (Lesley Wonnacott). 

As the performance came to the end, it all became clear the Hansel and Gretel were in fact not related as Gretel was the stolen daughter of the King Frederick (Nick Cleaver) and Queen Frieda (Becky Gear) and they all were able to live happily ever after!

Other members of the cast including Columbine (Rosie Davies), Prince Konrad (Tracey Wosnitzka), Lady Christine (Eileen Angrave), Glockenspiel (Simon Brooking), Snow Queen (Kirstie Stone) and members of the chorus (Nick Cleaver, Becky Gear, Pam Johns, Hattie Leach, Julie Watts, Elena Voronova, Trevor Chambers, Oliver Duckworth, Kirstie Stone, Catlin Watkins, Kim Whiting, Shannon Willetts and Steve Wyatt)  all put on fantastic performances and made the story of Hansel and Gretel come together excellently. 

A special shoutout goes to the set design and painting team (Sarah O’Connor, Simon Brooking, Laura Caterell, Nick Cleaver, Jill Harket, George O’Connor and Jan Usher) who designed and produced some very elaborate and vivid sets. Also, to all the members who produced the music (Micheal Wonnacott, Georgina Bridle, Tracey Worth, Kristen Chandler Ross, Shelia Ford, Gary Bridle and Ross Coar) for the cast and audience to sing along too. 

Overall, a big thank you and congratulation goes out to Rob and Sue Painter (Directors/producers) and their large supporting production team for putting on a fantastic, funny and very well rehearsed show which is 100% worth a watch! 

HATS has a number of upcoming productions including; the Holsworthy Rotary Extravaganza on March 24, The Countrymen on March 31, HATS Laughter in the Dark (Murder Mystery) from 18th - 20th and 25th- 28th of May, Imagination Entertainment company ‘Joseph and his Technicolour Coat’ in August, The Vicar of Dibley in September, Treasure Island pantomime in January 2024 and Brassed Off in May 2024. 

To find out more visit: holsworthytheatre.co.uk