Hansel and Gretel review at Forest Forge Theatre Company, Ringwood – ‘family show with bonkers DIY vibe’
Audience participation is fundamental to a Christmas show, so let’s not question the number of sound effects we were called upon to provide as Hansel and Gretel lost their way in the deep dark woods.

We hooted, twittered, howled, whistled like the wind and made squelching noises – and one of our number was even hauled up to play the witch as the tiny cast finally ran into the logistical nightmare of too many characters for too few actors.

All part of Bumblefly’s madcap fun, which Bumblefly director Dom Phillips – who also co-directed the show with writer David Haworth, as well as performing, playing guitar and handling the technical and stage management side of the show – feels is an essential part of community theatre.

Hansel and Gretel is a collaboration with Forest Forge Theatre Company with whom Phillips and Haworth, who also designed the pretty picture storybook setting, have long been associated.

This has all the hallmarks of a Forest Forge Christmas show, but with a slightly bonkers DIY vibe that is enormously appealing.

Anna Harriott and Clive Holland throw themselves into numerous roles with gusto, with any gaps filled in by Phillips and a number of beautifully crafted puppets, courtesy of Karolina Czyz.

Verdict – 3 Stars
Fun family show combines traditional storytelling with a bonkers DIY vibe

Review: Lesley Bates