The mixture of Stephen Sondheim’s extraordinary rating (lower than a yr after his dying), Terry Gilliam’s outlandish inventive concepts, Leah Hausman’s in depth operatic motion and choreography, a solid with the Julian Bleach recreating the weirdness of The Grinning man and Audrey Brisson fascinating us as she did in Amelie, the evocative staging of a Pollock’s Toy Theatre and the wonderful setting of the intimate Theatre Royal Tub mix on this manufacturing of Into the Woods in theatrical alchemy to create an exquisite celebration of this superb composer. Sondheim’s music might be one thing of an acquired style, however as soon as acquired the enjoyment by no means leaves you. Although the songs should not as memorable as these from Gypsy or Sweeney Todd, there’s a fantastic tongue-in-cheek pleasure to the mash-up of conventional well-known fairy-tale tales and its commentary on the human situation with its themes of rising up, morality and need fulfilment. This model doesn’t appear so macabre as I recollect it, though nearly all of characters do die, the staging and childlike setting of the toy theatre give it a extra partaking emotional connection in order that the ultimate songs of “No One is Alone” and “Kids Ought to Pay attention” are rather more touching and significant.
Julian Bleach’s eerie white-faced narrator dressed as a Victorian undertaker or the grim reaper strikes stealthily round, peering round flats, hovering within the background till he’s thrown to the Big complaining “I simply inform the story, I’m not a part of the plot”! The 2 Princes are glorious with Henry Jenkinson because the flamboyant lothario Prince to Cinderella (“I’m charming, not honest”) and Nathanael Campbell because the extra caring Rapunzel’s Prince (and doubling up because the voracious Wolf). Collectively they benefit from their tune “Agony” and its reprise which for me was a present spotlight. Cinderella’s Prince and The Baker’s spouse have their “Second within the Woods” to good impact. One other of the perfect moments is available in Sondheim’s difficult “Your Fault” because the survivors Jack (Barney Wilkinson), Cinderella, the Baker, Little Purple Using Hood and the Witch argue about who has prompted the mayhem they’ve simply witnessed.
It is a fantastic reimagining of Sondheim’s distinctive discordant work brilliantly staged and really nicely acted and sung that sits completely on the Theatre Royal Tub’s stage. It runs in Tub till tenth September. It deserves to be extra broadly seen and a West Finish switch have to be within the playing cards in 2023 however I hope to an appropriately sized venue, so it doesn’t lose its intimacy. A few of Sondheim’s music particularly this present, divides opinion however I urge you to go see it, even if you’re unsure concerning the tunes, for a visually very good reimaging that may be a splendidly becoming tribute to this nice composer.
Overview by Nick Wayne
Seat: Royal Circle, Row D | Value of Ticket: £44.50