Rockdale Musical Society with a very well chosen cast, is revisiting this Sondheim classic, for the first time since its production in 1994.
How far would you go, to make your wish come true? INTO THE WOODS challenges our perceptions of what makes a fairy tale, by taking many of those well-remembered classic fairy tale characters (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Wolf, Jack and the Beanstalk and many more) and sends them all into the woods, all at the same time.
The scenario: As the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch, the baker and his wife are childless. Three days before the rise of a blue moon, to break the curse the witch forces them to venture into the forest to find all the ingredients that will reverse the curse and restore the witch’s striking beauty: a milk-white cow, hair as yellow as corn, a blood-red cape, and a slipper of pure gold.
Sondheim’s play features a a delicious orchestral score with some great songs including the poignant No One is Alone, Agony, and Last Midnight.
Funny, dramatic, poetic, this magical evening of haunted theatricality was full of laughs, colourful characters and attitude, all of which will put constant smiles on your face as the story unfolds.
INTO THE WOODS has a refreshing new take, a top quality revival of this classic tale, whittled down into its imagined state, making this show very special, and very theatrical, because you need to use your imagination. To be precise, there are no sets, no flats, and there is the painted black stage and painted black back wall, which at first reminded me of many many shows at BELVOIR.
The array of colourful costumes are quite superb making each character easily recognisable, but you must use your imagination to see the beanstalk as a beanstalk, the tower as a tower, the bakers shop as the bakers shop, the castle as a castle, grandma’s house. The giant is a moving projection shown on the back wall and the giants footprint arrives by the sudden drop of a ladder. The director has chosen to have Jack’s cow vividly portrayed by a live performer, and their wolf is better than JOHHNY DEPP in the Disney movie version. As each character dies, their ghost returns to the stage, but now dressed in white, leaving the full cast already on stage to sing the finale ‘Children Will Listen’.
Director Kenney Ogilvie assisted by Musical Director David Lang and Choreographer Emma O’Brien have come up with a vibrant production featuring accomplished and strong performances from the entire, large cast.
Highly recommended, Rockdale Musical Society’s production closes this weekend. The play runs for three hours and includes one interval. The play explores adult themes and may not be suitable for young children.
The remaining performances are this Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. For bookings visit the Society’s official website – http://www.rockdalemusicalsociety.com/
Narrator Julian Badman
Cinderella Rebecca MacCallion
Jack Ethan Harvey
Jack’s Mother Margaret Short
The Baker Mal Tuck
The Baker’s Wife Bridget Keating
Cinderella’s Stepmother Morven Taylor
Florinda Natalie Elliott
Lucinda Lucy Malone
Little Red Riding Hood Meg Day
The Witch Michele Lansdown
Cindy’s Mother / Granny Michelle Harper
Mysterious Man Malcolm Gregory
Rapunzel Rebecca Carter
Wolf / Cinderella’s Prince James Jonathon
Rapunzel’s Prince Gareth Davis
Steward Todd McHenry
Dancer Joseph Nalty
Dancer Ashleigh Colella
Dancer Tegan Millington
Voice of the Giant Nancye Hayes OAM