Review by: Paul Towers, 27 June 2018
Into The Woods by Stephen Sondheim
KW Productions, Kieran Whelan, Karen Gordon, Keir Watson
Little Theatre 26 – 30th June 2018
“KW Productions has shown their mastery of Stephen Sodheim’s works.”
Once again Kieran Whelan’s KW Productions has shown their mastery of Stephen Sodheim’s works.
Into The Woods is a mash up (to use the young people’s parlance) of several fairy tales but with a more realistic non-happy-ending. Oddly enough for a show that was first produced in 1986 it contains many themes that resonate with modern audiences.
Taking the stories of Cinderella, Jack and The Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel as a starting point Sondheim twists the stories together to make a much darker tale of adultery, despair, retribution and greed.
The first half takes us along the familiar paths of the various characters and all seems resolved. Cinderella gets her Prince, Jack gets his fortune, Red Riding Hood survives the wolf and Rapunzel escapes from her tower.
Then, after the interval, their whole world comes crashing down, literally, and we are warned to be careful what we wish for.
Once again Keiran Whelan has gathered around him a cast of excellent singers and actors along with musical director Leigh White.
While several cast member deserve mention, Lee Samuels as the Baker, Tim Stokes as Jack and Danielle Smith as the Baker’s Wife, special mention has to be made of KW Productions regular Karen Gordon who has huge fun vamping it up as the Witch. Much high comedy is provided by Whelan and Kier Watson as Ugly Sisters, the Princes and the cow (I know, it has to be seen to be believed).
The set is very simple but not ineffective with lots of props scattered around. The costumes are not elaborate but serve the story well.
This production is part of the fund raising drive that The Little Theatre is running to finance a huge expansion of their premises. Tickets are still available for the rest of the run