INTO THE WOODS
Grand Opera House, York
Pick Me Up gave York audiences the chance to experience a wonderful stage production of Sondheim and Lapine's fabulous fractured fairy tale musical just weeks before the big new Disney movie version starring Meryl Streep hits the screens.
And reviewer Charles Hutchinson in the York Press said director and designer Robert Readman's love of Sondheim's "intricate, clever and constantly surprising musical drama is evident in every detail of his exquisite production".
The musical centres on a Baker and his Wife who embark into the woods on a quest to reverse a curse laid on them by the Witch next door. She instructs them to find a COW AS WHITE AS MILK, A CAPE AS RED AS BLOOD, THE HAIR AS YELLOW AS CORN AND THE SLIPPER AS PURE AS GOLD.
Along the way they encounter an ambivalent Cinderella, a greedy Red Riding Hood, a tower-bound Rapunzel with hair to die for, a too-trusting Jack, a couple of not-so-princely Princes, three Little Pigs, two ravenous Wolves and the one and only Mily White the Cow. But will they all live happily ever after?
Based on Grimm's fairytales, Into the Woods features some of Stephen Sondheim's most famous
songs including Agony, Giants In the Sky and Children Will Listen – performed by an onstage orchestra hidden within the woods led by Adam Laird, who the York Press said "marshals his band magnificently".
The cast included The Baker (Richard MacDonald – recent credits include White Christmas & Avenue Q), The Baker’s Wife (Toni Feetenby, whose recent credits include Aspects Of Love & Singin’ In The Rain), Jack of Beanstalk fame (Sam Hird who played Maquerelle in the Globe Young Players production of The Malcontent at Shakespeare's Globe in London), Cinderella (Kirsten Moore), The Witch (Susannah Baines making a welcome return after hitting the high notes in Ghost) and Little Red Riding Hood (Katy Metheringham who starred as Annie earlier this year at the GOH). Doubling up as the not-so-princely Princes and the ravenous Wolves are Darren Lumby, who played Brian in Avenue Q, and Simon Radford. Rapunzel was played by Alicia Stabler – Avenue Q & The Hot Mikado – and Milky White the cow was Jack Armstrong, who played The Artful Dodger in Sheffield Crucible’s production of Oliver! last Christmas.
The set was designed by director Robert Readman, West Yorkshire Playhouse lighting designer Chris Speight and Leeds technician Adam Moore. Readman says: "Into The Woods is one of my all-time favourite musicals and it is a pleasure to direct the show for a second time following on from my production for Stagecoach Youth Theatre in 2007 – it truly is a magical experience."
3RD-6TH DECEMBER 2014
Music and lyrics by
Assistant Musical Director
Little Red Riding Hood
Three Little Pigs/Hansel & Gretel
Emily Belcher, Emma Moodie, Ruby Johnson
Lottie Brook, Rose Perry, Polly Hutchinson