Tally at the end of the first evening: one and a half happy endings out of three (the vengeful would argue two) – a fine ratio for fairy tales. Tally by the end of the second: an unprecedented four and a half out of six. There was a close shave with Bluebeard, a gloriously gory wedding denouement to cheer Ashputtel and Prince C on their way, and it was down to earth (or lower) with a bump for child thirteen (well, what would you expect after a start to life like that?). Then, after 23 hours to count our blessings (for not living in a fairy tale), we returned to applaud the inspired ingenuity of Hansel and Gretel, the cunning (though ultimately flawed… and floored) Gambling Hans, and the noble Iron Hans – for all his hard edges. What’s more, any darkness was played out with a lightness of touch to compensate, and humour laced the performances in equal measure to the energy with which they were delivered.
That the staging and characterisation is the invention and work of such relative youth and inexperience never ceases to amaze, for these were thoughtfully and expertly performed plays most worthy of the generous applause. Many congratulations one and all.