Into The Woods

Date 24th October 2015
Society Basingstoke Amateur Operatic Society
Venue Queen Mary's College
Type of Production Musical
Director Sue Sampson
Musical Director Simon Eastwood
Choreographer Sue Sampson

Report

Author: Chris Horton

INTO THE WOODS with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine is a musical with a modern twist on a combination of fairy tales including: Jack and The Beanstalk, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and many more.  The Baker and his wife need to go “Into the Woods” to collect ingredients so as to break the spell that has left them childless.  The show opened with an introduction which was performed with gusto from the Full Company and this set the tone for the rest of the production. 

The various scenes (Woods, cottages etc) were realistically created and multi-purpose and quickly and efficiently adapted. Particularly impressive was the tower used to house Rapunzel.   The props were excellent and well used by the cast. The lighting was effective throughout and well controlled.  The sound effects used for the giant were well received by the audience and a very nice touch.

What made “Into The Woods” enjoyable and so watchable was the fact that all the stories were there but they were told with a different twist and dialogue and the songs and dances were all delivered with exuberance and confidence.  Every member of the cast impressed with their assurance. There were some lovely facial expressions (especially from Aurelia Abbots as the cow), and Hattie Brannam as Little Red Riding Hood was suitably petulant.  There are many stars in the making including Jack Baldwin as Jack, Hazel Baldwin as Cinderella, Philippa Leadbetter as the Witch and Connor McGrane as The Baker.   Harry Hall as the Wolf created some creepy moments with his evil and expressive body language.   “Into The Woods” is a beautiful and complex musical about the terror of mortality and the danger of wishes. Sue Sampson’s skilful direction and choreography were complemented by the Musical Direction of Simon Eastwood. Together with a talented cast, they created some magic and gave the audience an afternoon of life, love and promise.