Even in fairy tales, the world sometimes looks as if it is about to go to pots: In the house of Besenbinder, where the siblings Hansel and Gretel grow up, there is rarely more to bite into than dry bread. And even outside, edible food can only be found fairly deep in the dark forest, because the immediate domestic environment yields nothing. But what to do with such a broken world? In director Axel Ranisch’s production, the wicked witch solves the problem of supply as a Charity Queen distributing delicious and colourful sweets. The catch, however: Hansel and Gretel discover in this "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gone wrong" fantasy that the sweet stuff is really made from rather unusual ingredients. When the wicked witch herself finally ends up in the oven, no more children disappear – but the problem of food shortage still remains. But it would not be the world of a fairy tale if at the end hope were not to be found somewhere. Though Engelbert Humperdinck and his sister Adelheid Wette originally planned to create only a small Christmas play, the opera ended up as one of the most popular and large-scale family plays in the history of music theatre. Axel Ranisch, who landed a real hit with audiences in Stuttgart in 2018 with his Love of three oranges, takes Humperdinck's fairy tale opera with a great deal of narrative relish mixed with crude humour. They also incidentally raise the question of what other transformations the world will still have to go through before we realize how the good life could look like.