"Gretel et Hansel" at the NAC Studio
Ottawa, 20 May 2014 – The Théâtre français will be concluding this season’s program of tales and stories for children with Gretel et Hansel, a gripping reworking of the famous fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm as presented by Suzanne Lebeau. In this version, the playwright speaks directly to children about one of their most intense and secret desires, the impulse of good and evil that they feel and that distresses them because it is beyond their control. With Gretel and her younger brother as both characters and storytellers, the linchpin of the piece is their stories, which are intertwined, conflicting and complementary. The dialogue strikes home, capturing the strong and sometimes contradictory feelings such as jealousy and the love-hate dynamic, as delicious as it is disturbing, in relations between siblings, something that both adults and children will recognize. Gretel et Hansel will be performed at the NAC Studio on Saturday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 25 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. For children 6 and over.
Suzanne Lebeau’s stage plays honour the qualities she detects in her young spectators, an audience that is demanding, open, quick-witted and curious, as her reworking of Gretel et Hansel proves once again. In a style that is incredibly straightforward and vivacious, the writer revisits the famous fairy tale to explore the fundamental relations between the brother and sister, one built on a paradoxical amalgam of hate and love.
Associate Artistic Director / Youth Programming
What the Critics Say
Gretel et Hansel is a play with a strong script, lively narration that reflects the world of the fairy tale, and a simple, evocative set design. It speaks directly to children about the troubling (but also profound and tender) feelings provoked by sibling rivalry.
David Lefebvre, montheatre.qc.ca
The performance of the two actors, Catherine Dajczman and Jean-Philip Debien, and particularly the staging by Gervais Gaudreault, are striking for their great simplicity. In unadorned fashion and using only a few wooden chairs, Gaudreault manages to clearly portray, one by one, the multiple climates in which the epic tale of two children takes shape.
Michel Bélair, Le Devoir
By turning the well-known into something new, Suzanne Lebeau engages the spectators with unexpected emotions and excels with a script that is precise and colourful, full of twists and turns and a sense of play, a story that appeals to the intelligence of its young audience. Polished and professional.
Josée Lapointe, La Presse
Text: Suzanne Lebeau // Directed by: Gervais Gaudreault // Cast: Catherine Dajczman and Jean-Philip Debien // Assistant Director: Milena Buziak // Set Design: Stéphane Longpré // Lighting: Dominique Gagnon // Sound: Diane Labrosse // Costumes: Linda Brunelle // Produced by: Le Carrousel, compagnie de théâtre, co-produced with Théâtre du Vieux-Terrebonne
Note about Parking on May 24 and 25