Home » London Theatre Reviews » Hawk & Hill Theatre present Lost In the Woods @ Gilded Balloon

Hawk & Hill Theatre present Lost In the Woods @ Gilded Balloon

Anyone who has taken up the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society’s invitation to #FillYerBoots might find their recollections of the various shows they’ve seen start getting muddled. What was the storyline in each show? Who was in them and what did they do? There’s a parallel between that and an old book in this production whose pages fall out. With an audience sitting there waiting for a story, the pages are hastily picked up and put back together, and we hope for the best. A voiceover narrator, however, simply reads out what is in the book, in the rearranged order.

Hawk & Hill Theatre present Lost In the Woods
Hawk & Hill Theatre present Lost In the Woods

But rather than a revised version of Hansel and Gretel which, in line with many contemporary plays, jumps around between past and present instead of telling a story in forward chronological order, the book contains various other stories too. To add a further complication, these are not necessarily in forward chronological order either. With several stories going on, not necessarily starting at the beginning, the results are hilarious, whoever you are – in this show, at least, age really is but a number.

Hansel (Arran R Hawkins) and Gretel (Hila Meckier) chance on a suitcase full of seemingly random items, most if not all of which seem, at face value, surplus to requirements for the telling of their story. It’s quite a dynamic show, with substitute items as absurd as the substitutes one gets from online supermarket deliveries (I haven’t had any for years, making a point when ordering not to accept substitutes). Gretel, confused, wants to pause for a moment, though Hansel convinces her to go with the flow.

The children in the audience seemed to enjoy proceedings, and the use of silhouettes in various scenes was cleverly done. There’s a takeaway point for bigger kids, too, in that the stiff upper lip, ‘keep calm and carry on’ approach doesn’t always work, and there’s nothing wrong with taking time to stop and ask questions if something isn’t quite right. An engaging and energetic experience.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

“Once upon a time, a little girl and a little boy were lost in the woods”…
That is usually how these things start.
Only this time it seems they are not only lost in the woods, but within their own story!
An absurd comedy for all ages (5+), Hawk & Hill theatre bring a new twist to the fairytales you know and love. With buckets-full of imagination, and oodles of laughter, Arran Hawkins (UK) and Hila Meckier (Israel) teamed up in Berlin to combine their decades of theatrical experience into a fun-filled family theatrical performance you don’t want to miss!

Hawk & Hill Theatre
Gilded Balloon Teviot
Wine Bar 11:15am (50mins)
August 2-28 2023

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