Into the Woods

Date 2nd March 2019
Society Skegness Musical Theatre Company
Venue The Embassy Theatre, Skegness
Type of Production Musical
Director Andrea Hall
Musical Director Peter Coughtrey-Wellsted

Report

Author: Peter Breach

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by James Lapine.

This musical adopts characters and partial plots from several fairy tales published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in 1812; these include Little Red Riding Hood (Chloe Bray), Jack (Tony Duncan) and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel (Sabrina Horton) and Cinderella (Lucy Dickons). Many of the young children who were present at this matinee performance would have been familiar with these characters having previously been made aware of them through pantomime productions or stories. Now they were to witness them being included in a story line about a Baker (Ben Gilbert) and his Wife (Natasha Connor) who desperately want to start a family but are unable to do so, having been cursed by a Witch, (very realistically performed vocally and visually by Chantelle Gill).

Several characters appear in this musical and the identification of some of them could be made through their readily recognisable costumes, for example - Little Red Riding Hood, or distinguishing features such as Rapunzel’s exceedingly long hair. Information on developments of the story line was dispensed with clarity by the Narrators, Isabelle Coote and Precious Stewart-Oates. Trevor Fenton, as the well-costumed Wolf, moved menacingly about the stage when playing the part of this creature and later in the performance, as Cinderella’s Prince, Trevor was paired with Rapunzel’s Prince (Steve Dickons) as they competed to out-perform each other in their exaggerated princely swaggering. The Mysterious Man (Jon Molson) maintained an air of mystery about himself, giving little away about his origin or purpose.

In Act Two a large Giantess pays a visit to the forest and lives are lost. However, eventually the survivors realise they have to act together if they are to survive and accept group responsibility.

In order to help create the impression of being among trees and fully utilise the space offered by this performance venue, a large structure was erected on the stage that was then cleverly disguised as an area of afforestation , in which was a variety of levels for the actors to perform on. In addition   there were complimentary sound and lighting effects.

The blending together of several different plots and characters created a very challenging piece of theatre which this company delivered in an exemplary manner. Congratulations to all who were involved in this highly entertaining production!