Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel (2003) was a signed language theatre production by Norsk Tegnspråkteater (now named Teater Manu). Hansel and Gretel was based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale, in a theatrical adaption by Kjell-Erik Ruud. In this adaption, Hansel and Gretel were both deaf, whereas the mean stepmother could hear, and wanted the children to use spoken Norwegian. The production went on tour the spring of 2003, with its tour premiere in Ålesund March 14.

Nina Harte directed the production.


(Objekt ID 38799)
Object type Production
Premiere March 14, 2003
Produced by Teater Manu
Based on Hansel and Gretel by Brødrene Grimm
Audience Children
Language Sign language (Norwegian)
Interpreted to Norwegian
Expressions Performance for children , Sign-language Theatre
Running period March 14, 2003  
Website teater MANU

At the webpage of Teater Manu the following, among other things, is written about Hansel and Gretel:

"Hansel and Gretel are deaf. Mother and father can hear, and they would like their children to be better at talking nicely and correctly with their voices. The children escape to meet other users of signed language. They get to play, they find friends, they get to develop a language they have optimal chances at mastering. The children develop normally.

For hundreds of years, deaf people have fought to gain respect for their language. Throughout the years, signed language has been suppressed and treated as a language of low status. The past ten years, much has changed for the better. Signed language has met recognition, and deaf people are met with increased respect. But again, authorities in our society trample all over our language and say, 'You can become so good at hearing and so good at talking, you won't need signed language'."


Teater Manu, teatermanu.no, 02.10.2017, http://www.teatermanu.no/produksjoner/hans-og-grete/

Name Role
Brødrene Grimm – Author
Kjell-Erik Ruud – Dramatised by
Nina Harte – Direction
Ingunn Sønsteby – Stage design
Ingunn Sønsteby – Costume design
Ingrid Tønder – Lighting design
Marit Synnøve Berg – Actor (Stemmeskuespiller for alle rollene)
Ipek D. Mehlum – Actor (Grete)
Karl F. Robertsen – Actor (Faren)
Agata Wisny – Actor (Mora / Heksa)
Gianni Zullo – Actor (Hans)
June Paalgard – Mask design
Vigdis S. Peterson – Consultant (Språkkonsulent)
Sølvi Zuckermann – Consultant (Språkkonsulent)
Performance dates
March 14, 2003Parken Kulturhus – Opening night