CASTS ANNOUNCED for magical and mouth-watering Christmas shows

Derby Theatre is excited to start rehearsals next week for their big, family-friendly, festive production for 2018/19, Hansel & Gretel adapted by Mike Kenny, a mouth-watering, magical show with lashings of live music performed by a marvellous band of actor-musicians, on from Friday 30 November until Saturday 5 January.

Playing the title characters will be Craig Anderson (as Hansel) and Yana Penrose (as Gretel). New to Derby audiences, Craig’s previous credits include: Macbeth (Centrepoint Theatre); Cinderella (Hazlitt Theatre) and productions of Jack & the Beanstalk (Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford and Theatre Clwyd) with Yana’s credits including: Phoenix and Turtle (Little Angel Theatre) and A Christmas Carol and Jack for Derby Theatre.  

Hansel and Gretel cast - Derby Theatre

Joining Craig and Yana, we are thrilled to welcome the return of some other familiar faces. Playing the iconic role of the witch character will be Chris Price. Chris has appeared in a number of productions at the Theatre before including: The Odyssey, A Christmas Carol and Cinderella, and his other recent credits include: Jim Cartwright’s TWO (Gala Theatre) and Scrooge (Pitlochry Festival Theatre). Chris also played The Riddler in the international tour of Batman Live. Also familiar to Derby audiences, we are delighted to see the return of: Esme Sears (Peter Pan, Cinderella and A Christmas Carol for Derby Theatre, A Little Night Music for Storyhouse Theatre, Silver Darling for Derby LIVE and Hairspray for Stoke Regent Theatre); Jack Quarton (Peter Pan, Great Expectations and Alice in Wonderland for Derby Theatre, Wonderland for Nottingham Playhouse, Swallows and Amazons for Storyhouse Chester and the recently released film, Peterloo directed by Mike Leigh) and Liz Eaves (Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland for Derby Theatre and The Kite Runner and Hare & Tortoise for Nottingham Playhouse).

New to Derby audiences, and making up the cast for this wonderful ensemble production, we are excited to welcome: Jack Alexander (A Sigh of the Coal for New Vic, Stoke, The Extraordinary Tale of Holly Christmas for Colour the Clouds Theatre Company at The Lowry and The Magic Story Box for the BBC) and Tilly-Mae Millbrook (Sonnet Walks for Guildford Shakespeare Company, The Secret Seven for Chester Storyhouse and A Little Night Music for The Watermill).

Joining the adult cast will be 18 talented young actors from the region including: Ariana Botchway, George Thompson, Rosie Austins, Millie Denney, Jaiya Dhillon, Harry Tallis, Leo Fox-White, Lottie Stone, Madison Naylor, Scarlett Allitt, William Brown, Amelie Turner, Maisie Gore, Freddie Phillips, Thomas Moore, Roxy Wright, Primrose Cole and Freya Youngman.

The creative team is: Sarah Brigham (Director); Mike Kenny (adapted by); Neil Irish (Set Designer); Ivan Stott (Composer); Tim Heywood (Costume Designer) and Emma Jones (Lighting Designer).

Also playing this festive season, Derby Theatre is also delighted to present Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a hilarious and heart-warming production that is ‘just right’ for ages 3+ and their families, on from Tuesday 4 December until Saturday 5 January. 

The cast includes: Katie Tranter, as Goldilocks, (Circus 250 at Spring Gardens for Circus Central and A Christmas Carol for Front Room Productions); Karen Young, as Mummy Bear, (Red Riding Hood for Aberdeen Arts Centre) and Ivan Stott, as Daddy Bear and also the composer for the show, and Baby Bear (of course!).

Goldilocks cast

Accessible Performances

We are thrilled to offer BSL interpreted and Audio Described performances of Hansel & Gretel and BSL interpreted performances of Goldilocks. We also offer Relaxed and Dementia-Friendly performances of both productions.


For Hansel & Gretel: Tue 11 December at 2pm and Sat 22 December at 1pm. 

For Goldilocks: Wed 12 December at 1.30pm and Sat 15 December at 1.30pm


For Hansel & Gretel: Thu 13 December at 2pm and Sat 29 December at 1pm. 


Specifically aimed to appeal to audience members who are on the autistic spectrum or have sensory sensitivities, or those who would benefit from a more relaxed atmosphere as regards to making noise or moving around. 

For Hansel & Gretel: Tue 18 December at 2pm and Thu 3 January at 2pm. 

For Goldilocks: Wed 19 December at 1.30pm and Wed 2 January at 1.30pm


We are already pretty laid back at Derby Theatre, but there will be a more relaxed attitude to leaving and re-entering the theatre and making noise, the house lights will be kept slightly on and there will be a quiet space available for use at any time before, during and after the show. There will also be plenty of our friendly staff available to offer assistance on the day too, including staff who are Dementia Friends.

For Hansel & Gretel: Fri 28 December at 2pm. 

For Goldilocks: Sat 29 December at 1.30pm.

Tickets for Hansel & Gretel range from £12.50 to £28.50, with family ticket, school, concession and group rates available, and tickets forGoldilocks and the Three Bears are from £8. 

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