Watch: Jon Bausor on the ballet Hansel and Gretel
Set designer discusses working with Liam Scarlett and exploring the darker side of the fairytale.
Liam Scarlett’s hotly anticipated dark balletic take on Hansel and Gretel has now opened, causing much conversation and debate among the audience. The ballet, a dark re-telling of a traditional fairytale, features set and costume designs by Jon Bausor, whose previous credits range from productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company to the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games 2012.
Jon began working on Hansel and Gretel with Liam last year, discussing how to give the Brothers Grimm fairytale contemporary relevance.
‘It’s been interesting learning about one another as well as the piece we are trying to create. Darkly, the first thing we started talking about was its relevance in our society, in particular the Fritzl case in Austria. It gave us a keyhole to understanding the story.’
Staging the ballet in the Linbury Studio Theatre also presented challenges – The staging arranged in traverse, with the audience seated around the set: ‘The design is very much informed by the Linbury architecture. We’re really exploring ideas of restriction and imprisonment. It is also very immersive, and seen in traverse: every single person will have a particular viewpoint.’
This production is made possible due to generous philanthropic support from Sarah and Lloyd Dorfman, Sir Simon and Lady Robertson, Sue Butcher, Siri and Rob Cope, Victoria Sharp and The New Ballet Works Syndicate.