Chorus of Villagers
The Good Elf
A Group of Crows
Chorus of Animals
In the Village
The villagers process in to the music, carrying a maypole. It is a festival day and they are dressed in their finest clothes. Underneath these, however, the villagers are dressed in rags. The harvest has been poor, life in the village is tough and there is not enough food to go around. The people are miserable and starving. The maypole is held up by two children centre-stage and the village children dance around it during the song. After the song the maypole is taken up-stage.
SONG 1 Join Together, Dance and Sing
VILLAGER 1 It’s no good, I can’t keep up this pretence.
VILLAGER 2 What on earth do you mean?
VILL 1 Pretending we are happy and that life in the village is normal. I’m starving, and look, my clothes are in tatters!
VILL 2 Why don’t you get your wife to stitch them up?
VILL 1 She’s sewn them so many times that there’s none of the original fabric left. She’s repairing the previous repairs.
VILL 2 We must take an example from the children and look on the bright side.
VILL 1 Well, what is the bright side?
VILL 2 I’ll let you know when I’ve thought of it.
(He exits. Enter Father.)
VILL 1 Ah, Anton, have you come to drown your sorrows with a mug of ale?
FATHER I would if there were any. That turnip brew really does not taste like the real thing – and it gives me a belly ache.
VILL 1 It can’t be as bad as the ache I get from an empty stomach. It’s so noisy it wakes up the whole family in the night.
FATHER Where is my wife? I have something to discuss with her.
MOTHER (Off-stage) Anty-Wanty dear! Anty-Wanty where are you? It’s dinner time.
FATHER Oh no, she’s doing that Anty-Wanty thing again. That means bad news. Here I am, Beatrice! What is it, my darling?
MOTHER Oh there you are, Anton.
FATHER Beatrice, I have some bad news for you.
MOTHER Can things get any worse than they already are?
FATHER I have spent the day wandering the town looking for work.
FATHER There are no jobs to be found.
MOTHER But what shall we do? We are so poor.
FATHER I have had an idea. We must send the children into the forest to live. They can search for roots, nuts and berries. We simply cannot afford to feed them anymore.
MOTHER I suppose then we could eat every day, instead of taking turns. But…
FATHER That’s settled then. We’ll do it tomorrow.
MOTHER But… but… (Enter Hansel and Gretel.)
HANSEL Mother, father, did you call us for dinner?
MOTHER No, it’s not your turn today.
GRETEL But mother, we are starving.
FATHER There is not enough to go around, Gretel my dear.
HANSEL But we thought you would find work in the town, father.
FATHER There is no work.
MOTHER Children, we have no choice but to send you into the forest to fend for yourselves.
GRETEL But mother, there are wolves there.
HANSEL And evil spirits.
FATHER We’re sorry children, but our minds are made up. You must leave at once.
MOTHER Here is a basket with the last of the bread for the journey.
FATHER Farewell children! (He gives them a quick hug and exits.)
(Mother goes to speak but is too upset for words. She hugs them and then runs off weeping. The children cross downstage.)
HANSEL Well, there’s a fine thing! Our own parents have thrown us out.
GRETEL (Weeping) How could they?
HANSEL Don’t worry, Gretel, I have a plan. Instead of eating the bread we will break it into small pieces and leave a trail through the forest. Then we will be able to find our way home.
GRETEL It’s a good idea – but I don’t think we will be welcome at home.
HANSEL Perhaps if we find plenty of food we can sell some and become rich.
GRETEL Come on then, we must find shelter in the forest before it gets dark.
End of Scene
Roll over the image to view more pages of the score.
Hansel and Gretel Score Sample
Park Field Primary, Taunton, England
St Thomas CE Primary School, Huddersfield, England
Act One Beginners, Portsmouth Hampshire, England
Elizabeth Park Public School, California, US
Kenmore Park Middle School, London, England
Ysgol Y Grango, Wrexham, Wales