THE York School of Dance and Drama will perform Babes In The Wood at the Grand Opera House, York, on Saturday in a new "choreodrama" created by principal Lesley Ann Eden.

"We're giving the age-old story of Hansel and Gretel a new interpretation with amazing stage effects and inventive choreography," says Lesley. "The main characters are acted by sister and brother Robyn and Aidan Strangeways, who, although they're very young to be tackling such difficult parts, give the story great authenticity, adding to the whole family feel of the show.

"The role of the Wicked Witch is taken by Mischelle Greenly, who plays an archetypal baddie with great feminine charm, and the show has something for everyone, including a magnificent pantomime dame, played by James Bentley, who dances the famous Clog Dance from La Fille Malgarde, and Chris Bryan, who accompanies the dancers in both modern and contemporary styles on cello."

Look out for a contemporary dance dealing with the torment and terror of mental health issues. "The school always incorporates topical issues and also surprises the audience with new skills in dance," says Lesley. "For example, one of the dances fuses the sport of basketball with dance and will be shown later this year in a school in London."

The 6pm performance is not confined to children. "One wonderful aspect of the show is that many mums and dads will be performing alongside their children, which is pretty unique and something which I hope will continue and thrive in the future," says Lesley.

York Press:

Lesley Ann Eden with the Huntington School children who will perform in Babes In The Wood. Picture: Nigel Holland

Meanwhile, Huntington School has been chosen by Lesley to receive a series of lessons in performing arts in order to take part in Babes In The Wood. "The keen and enthusiastic pupils have been learning new dances, together with acting and singing skills," she says.

"One of their dances, School’s Out For Summer, is a great hit with the children and they can’t wait to perform it for their teachers and parents in the very exciting and professional setting at the Grand Opera House. What's more, because the project has been so successful, the classes will continue with the aim of presenting a performance at Huntington School."

Tickets are on sale at £22.15 plus booking fee on 0844 854 2757 or at