Into The Woods

Date 22nd April 2016
Society EROS Musical Society
Venue Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock
Type of Production Musical
Director Walter Paul
Musical Director Derek Norval

Report

Author: T Davies Brock

This show was a treat and a challenge for the audience – a treat as to the production, execution and music and a challenge simply to keep up with what was happening through the twists and turns of James Lapine’s libretto and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics and score. Weaving together various characters and strands of the better known stories from Grimm’s fairy tales (and to our audiences, from the pantomimes based on these), there emerged what were really two “shows” as Act One could really have stood on its own with Act Two as the sequel.
Essential to the story was The Narrator (Roger Topping), who guided us usefully and effortlessly through the sequences until the librettist decided he was superfluous and disposed of him in the middle of Act 2!    Jamie Stewart took the leading role as The Baker with Lynne Fyfe as The Baker’s Wife, both establishing their characters from the outset. Their next-door bad neighbour in the plot (who had placed the curse of infertility on them) was The Witch (Marie-Anne McGrattan), a character essential to any fairy tale and thoroughly evil in the story until the poor dear was deprived of her magical powers. As the show progressed, other familiar characters were charmed into existence. Joy Stubbs as Cinderella and Maria McNeil as Little Red Riding Hood were woven into the story along with Jack of Beanstalk fame (Patrick Provan), Jack’s Mother (Lesley Gamble), Rapunzel (Laura Wilson) with her long tresses and locked up in her tower, Snow White (Lynzi Martin) and Sleeping Beauty (Rachel McCane). The Ugly Sisters were no longer ugly (but still cruel) and given the names Florinda and Lucinda (Kerry Marshall and Jackie Arbuthnot), Frances McNeil taking the role of Cinderella’s Stepmother with David Clark as her Stepfather.
This show was a worthy addition to the repertoire and showed the strength of the society’s cast of principals and the production team.