Beverley Klein, Anne Reid and Clive Rowe star in a new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's acclaimed Into the Woods.
"I wish..." a baker and his wife who wish for a child, a young girl who wishes to go to the palace festival, a mother and her simpleton son who wish for money - that's just the opening minute of the once-upon-a-time fairytale world of Into the Woods. Still to add are the comic agony of two bemused princes in love with unobtainable women - one long-haired but locked in a tower, one who has run away leaving only her shoe - a wicked witch protective of her garden produce and an unusually feisty Red Riding Hood. It's a fabulous collision of well-known storybook characters told with a twist in wonderfully witty words and shot through with melody. And what would happen if we actually got what we wished for, but didn't care how we got it? Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine bring a dark and contemporary adult view to this childhood world when, in the second act, an unexpected threat arrives to provoke uncomfortable thoughts for everyone.
This new production marks the musical directorial debut of Will Tuckett, whose interpretations of The Wind in the Willows and Pinocchio have quickly become Royal Opera House Christmas classics.
The cast also includes Gillian Kirkpatrick, Peter Caulfield, Elizabeth Brice, Martin Nelson, Suzanne Toase, Linda Hibberd, Nicholas Garrett, Katrina Murphy, Nic Greenshields and Byron Watson. They are accompanied by 14 musicians with James Holmes, Head of Music for Opera North, conducting.