Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After is the latest fairytale to get the David Walliams' twist for Christmas. In recent years these After Ever After movies on Sky have felt as much a part of Christmas as mince pies and turkey. Now, after turning the tales of Cinderella and Jack & The Beanstalk on their heads, David Walliams and Sheridan Smith return to give the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale Hansel and Gretel the After Ever After treatment, too.
The pair look unrecognizable in the first look images (see above and below), with Sheridan as the witch and David playing a troll, complete with giant fangs and seaweed draped all over him.
Sheridan posted the snaps online, joking “Me and the TV husband @dwalliams with no filter. God he gives me such glamorous roles,” while David said they were “looking lovelier than ever.”
So here's all we can tell you so far about Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After...
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‘Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After’ starring @Sheridansmith1 & David is coming to @SkyUK this Christmas. pic.twitter.com/5FiwKwExQBAugust 14, 2021
'Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After' release date
Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After airs on Sky Max and Sky Showcase on Thursday Dec. 23 at 8pm. We're sure it will be a Christmas TV highlight. An air date has yet to be announced for its US or worldwide release. We’ll update as soon as we hear more on this.
Is there a 'Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After' trailer?
Yes Sky has released a trailer for Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After which looks magical and fun, as David Walliams introduces us to his story...
'Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After' plot
As always the After Ever After movie looks at what happens after the traditional tale ends. This time, it picks up after youngsters Hansel and Gretel (Bill Bekele and Lily Aspell) escape from the witch’s house in the woods. However, when they return to their village they learn that the villagers are being enticed by a mysterious stranger with sweets. Determined to make things right the pair must face their fears and return to the witch’s house for a final showdown. We’ve been told, “this is a tale of facing your worst fears and putting family first,” so it sounds like perfect Christmas fodder!
'Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After' cast — David Walliams on playing the troll
David has written this story, along with writer Kevin Cecil, and has also been cast as a troll. It’s the third After Ever After adventure he’s penned and he starred in the first two, After Ever After (about Cinderella’s life after she weds Prince Charming) and Jack and the Beanstalk: After Ever After as well. Although he’s best known for the BBC's Little Britain comedy sketch series (2003-2006) and for his role as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent (2012-2020) David is also a prolific children’s author and many of his books have been adapted for TV, including Gangster Granny, The Boy in the Dress and Billionaire Boy.
David gives an insight into his latest After Ever After story: "As a kid, it was my favourite story because I loved the idea of the house made of sweets and putting the witch in the oven is gruesome! But what if she’s not bad, what if she’s been badly treated?"
Sheridan Smith on playing the wicked witch
Sheridan Smith, who plays the witch, is one of the most versatile actors on our screens, starring in everything from the hugely popular Gavin and Stacey (2008-2010), where she played Smithy’s sister Rudi to TV miniseries such as Mrs Biggs, Cleaning Up and The Moorside. She regularly teams up with David Walliams and starred in the TV adaptation of his novel Mr Stink as well as last year’s Jack and The Beanstalk: After Ever After.
Sheridan Smith says of this latest After Ever After story: "I was scared of this story as a kid because the witch tricks them with sweeties. But David’s stories have a lovely sentiment. It’s about how, if people are different, you accept them.
"Instead of a broomstick, I ride a sherbet fountain! We were out in the car park with a green screen. I had to be really high up and I’m scared of heights and it was windy but luckily I was harnessed! I got cocky going, ‘I don’t need hands!’ So I have done a bit of stunt acting as the Witch – although I'm hardly Tom Cruise! But it was good fun. It's bonkers, but brilliant."
'Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After' cast — Mark Addy, Sophie Thompson and who else is starring
Mark Addy stars as Englebert in Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After who is the father of Hansel and Gretel. The Game of Thrones actor has also appeared in The Salisbury Poisonings, White House Farm, The Syndicate, Trollied and Remember Me. Between 2013 and 2015 he played the role of Hercules in the BBC1 series Atlantis.
Look out too for for former EastEnders star Cheryl Fergison who played Walford's Heather Trott.
Sophie Thompson also stars as Frieda in Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After who is Hansel and Gretel's stepmother. Sophie is the sister of Hollywood actress Emma Thompson and sister-in-law of current Strictly star Greg Wise.
As well as playing Rosemary Piper in Coronation Street, Sophie has appeared in numerous TV shows including Detectorists, Sandylands and season three of Sex Education. Before Corrie she played Stella in rival soap EastEnders from 2006-2007. Sophie’s also starred in several movies, including Emma, Four Weddings and a Funeral. Sophie has been in a David Walliams adaptation before too – playing Miss Maxwell in the 2017 film, Ratburger.
Hansel and Gretel are played by newcomers Bill Bekele and Lily Aspell.
All about Sky's previous 'After Ever After' films
The first of the franchise was named just After Ever After and was co-written by David Walliams. In the 2019 movie David played Prince Charming alongside Sian Gibson’s Cinderella, who realises after her wedding that her Prince isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. Celia Imrie played the wicked stepmother who hatched an evil plan to marry the doddery King, played by Tom Courtenay, so Cinderella had her work cut out trying to put things right.
Last Christmas saw Jack and the Beanstalk: After Ever After feature on Sky. This starred David Walliams as the giant and Sheridan Smith as the infamous giant-killer The Woman With No Name. The story told how Jack, played by Eddie Karanja, realised the giant was concussed and suffering from memory loss rather than dead and faced a battle to get him back home. However the pair soon learnt they had more in common than they thought and teamed up to work together.
All about the original fairytale of Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel was one of many fairytales written by the Brothers Grimm. It told the tale of a poor woodcutter who lived in the forest with his wife and two children, Hansel and Gretel. One night, when he realised he couldn’t afford to feed his children, he turned to his wife for advice and she told him to leave the children in the forest to fend for themselves. The first time he tried to do this, Hansel dropped a trail of stones, which led them back to the cottage, but the second time he left a trial of breadcrumbs which were eaten by birds. The children got lost in the forest and stumbled across a house made from cakes and sweets. After eating their fill they were lured inside by an old woman, who turned out to be a wicked witch. She planned to fatten up Hansel and eat him. However Gretel outsmarted the witch and pushed her in the oven so the children could escape.
More Christmas shows to enjoy in 2021...
- Robin Robin on Netflix
- Single All The Way on Netflix
- The Last Train To Christmas
- Ghosts Christmas Special 2021
- The Larkins Christmas Special
- Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby
- Death in Paradise Christmas special
- Worzel Gummidge Christmas 2021
- The Amazing Mr Blunden
- A Boy Called Christmas
- A Christmas Number One
- The Mezzotint
- The Voice Kids Christmas 2021
- All Star Musicals At Christmas on ITV
- Best Christmas movies
- Best Christmas movies on Disney Plus
- Best Christmas movies on Netflix
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I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.