Berry stages first ever Xmas show

Berry Theatre, Hedge End is performing its first ever Christmas production with Hansel and Gretel from December 12-24. (left to right) Lucy Doherty, Ivan Stott, Edward Wren
Berry Theatre, Hedge End is performing its first ever Christmas production with Hansel and Gretel from December 12-24. (left to right) Lucy Doherty, Ivan Stott, Edward Wren
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The Berry Theatre; the baby in a room full of grandparents. It’s the newest theatre on the block after only being opened in May this year.

But it’s not falling behind from everyone else as this week it officially announced its first ever Christmas production.

With a sprinkling of candy canes and chocolate glazing, the Berry Theatre, Hedge End, is putting on Hansel and Gretel.

Sarah Brigham is director of both the Berry Theatre and The Point, Eastleigh, in Southampton. For the theatre’s first ever Christmas production, she is playing the role of artistic director.

Sarah says: ‘As a producer and theatre director I’ve been here about 18 months, and prior to that I was in Scotland. One of the things I really wanted to do was produce our own works. With the Xmas show it seemed like the perfect idea.

‘It’s great to be doing a show that is all ours, not a tour that just happens to be passing through on its way around the country.’

A traditional children’s tale, Sarah is making sure their version is a little different to the expected.

She explains: ‘It won’t be about two children who are driven out by their evil stepmother. Actually Hansel and Gretel are greedy children that have a father who’s a woodcutter. He makes their beautiful thing out of wood, but they want plastic toys.

teach them a lesson.’

In the end their father makes the witch out of a puppet, with a life-size model being operated by actor.

Sarah adds: ‘It’s just so much fun, I couldn’t resist! It’s really exciting and very beautiful.

‘I think it will make a great Christmas show. I like how deliciously dark it is, and something in it is so dramatic.’

The cast will be made up of professional actors, with Ed Wren playing Hansel and Deborah Pugh playing Gretel (although Lucy Doherty stepped in for the press launch).

The production runs from December 12-24.

Tickets cost £10 from the Berry Theatre, Hedge End on (01489) 799 499 or go to theberrytheatre.co.uk.