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New adaptation of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods

Into The Woods After a sold-out run in 2014, All Star Productions – Winner of the Best Producer in the Off-West End Awards 2018 – team up with Trilby Productions and The Cockpit to stage a fresh new adaptation of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Directed by Tim McArthur, this production has been given a 21st-century twist that promises to both enchant and thrill. This darkly comic masterpiece invites audiences to journey into the middle of the forest where well-known fairy tales interweave to create a magical world.

Into the Woods follows a childless baker and his wife as they dream of having a child. In a bid to undo the curse placed on them and other storybook characters, the witch sends them into the woods to reverse this. As act one unfolds, all the fairy tales reach the ending of their tales but does this mean everyone will be happy? This innovative production sees the giant’s wife from Jack and the Beanstalk come down to the kingdom to seek revenge, crushing many characters on her way. Will the storybook people learn to work together to defeat her?

This wonderful adaptation of Into the Woods stars Jordan Michael Todd (Mad on Her, The Arts Theatre; Pippin, Southwark Playhouse) as the narrator. Director Tim McArthur, whose roles have ranged from As You Like It to Assassins at Pleasance Theatre, will take on the role as the Baker alongside Jo Wickham (winner of the Break A Leg award for best comedic performance in The Comedy of Errors at the Red Lion, Barnes) who reprises her role as the Baker’s Wife. Michele Moran (Les Enfants Terribles’ Alice’s Adventures Underground; Beyond the Fence, The Arts Theatre) will play the Witch who sends them into the woods to reverse the spell put upon them.

Having performed in the original cast of Into the Woods at the Phoenix Theatre, Mary Lincoln (La Traviata, Donmar Warehouse; Where’s Charley, Regent’s Park) stars as Cinderella’s evil Stepmother straight from TOWIE, with Abigail Carter-Simpson (Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Upstairs at The Gatehouse; Ushers: FOH Musical, Charing Cross Theatre) playing Cinderella. Joining this fairy tale cast is Florence Odumosu (Much Ado About Nothing, Waterloo East Theatre; Shy Tory, The Other Palace) as Little Red Riding Hood, Madeleine MacMahon – (A Super Happy Story (About feeling Super Sad), Edinburgh; Kings, New Diorama) and Jamie O’Donnell (Open Door Sharing, Pleasance Theatre).

From the Jeremy Kyle Show to the Royal Wedding, this contemporary revival is complete with a drug-using Rapunzel performed by Jodie Steele (Lachesis in Myth, The Other Palace; Wicked, UK and International Tour; War of the Worlds, Dominion Theatre) and a paedophile Wolf played by Ashley Daniels (The Producers, International Tour; Annie Get Your Gun, Union Theatre).

The cast also includes Francesca Pim (Salad Days, Union Theatre), Jonathan Wadey (The Frogs, Jermyn Street Theatre; Natural Affection, Jermyn Street Theatre), Michael Duke (Beautiful: Carole King Musical, Aldwych Theatre; The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre) David Pendlebury (The Producers, International Tour, China), Christina Thornton (Evita, The Prince Edward; Windy City, The Victoria Palace) and Macey Cherrett (Dick Whittington, Cochrane Theatre).

Tim McArthur comments: “My love for Stephen Sondheim began in 1988 when I went to see a production of Follies at the Shaftesbury Theatre. As I grow older, I find myself unconsciously relooking at Sondheim’s material; its complexity is vast and as an artist, I continue to discover new meanings and feelings about his storytelling.

Into the Woods is a magnificent piece of theatre and storytelling and, young or old, it’s full of life and lessons that we can all learn from. When we got the rights to do the show back in 2014, I knew I wanted to do something different and fresh with the production, now what Into the Woods meant to me 4 years ago has further evolved. The fairy tales are so strong and legendary, so I wanted to use that but reinvent the look of the show for a modern audience.”

Aaron Clingham, Musical Director of Into The Woods, adds: “I am so thrilled to revisit Into the Woods four years after our original production. This show holds a special place for me as it was the show that first introduced me to the work of Stephen Sondheim almost 15 years ago. For a Musical Director, tackling any Sondheim score is always an exciting challenge – the lyrics are often complex with multiple internal rhymes and the musical motifs and melodies are technically challenging. But I can’t wait to share with audiences my newly reduced orchestration for the show which I have scored for Strings and Woodwinds which is based on Jonathan Tunick’s brilliant original parts.

As with all fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, Into the Woods imparts the valuable lesson that our actions can affect others and that we must take responsibility for their consequences. Be careful what you wish for!

Into the Woods is performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.

Into the Woods
Dates Wednesday 23 May – Sunday 24 June 2018
Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm, Sunday, 3.30pm
No shows on Mondays
Running Time Two hours 25 minutes (plus interval)

Twitter @allstarpro, @TheWoods2018, #IntoTheWoodsPlay
Director Tim McArthur
Musical Director Aaron Clingham
Producer All Star Productions and Trilby Productions
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick


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