Kennet School production, Hansel and Gretel, offers audiences a sweet escape from reality
The arts have faced quite a struggle in the past few years but young actors from a Thatcham school ensured that the show went on for their Christmas production.
If you've seen breadcrumbs scattered around Kennet School recently, you won't be surprised to hear that this year's play was none other than Hansel and Gretel.
Pupils put their own spin on the Hans Christian Andersen tale this month, incorporating an array of well-known magical characters from Cinderella to Snow White.
The play, held on December 9 and 10, was watched both online and in person for those who fancied a sweet escape from the outside world.
More than 100 pupils came together, faces painted, costumes on and lines ready to go – creating a performance that the audiences compared to the West End.
One member of the audience said "I cried with laughter throughout" while another commented "absolutely loved it".
Despite the restrictive outdoor world, the school created a magical wonderland indoors, incorporating appearances from famous princesses, as well as Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs.
Acting head of drama Vanessa Sharpe congratulated the pupils on their “enthusiasm and commitment” in putting on "a delightful Christmas show”.
She said: "We are so grateful to have been able to put a show together in these difficult times, and even more grateful that it all came together so brilliantly, but that doesn’t happen without the help and support of a great number of people, too many to name here.
“The true talent and dedication lie in the pupils within the cast and crew.”
Headteacher Gemma Piper said: “What a production. The show was a real immersive experience which demonstrated the skill and vision of our wonderful drama department but also the power of collaboration across the whole school.
“I congratulate and thank everyone involved for a fantastic evening of entertainment, adapted brilliantly to incorporate Covid restrictions.”