Menier Chocolate Factory
Reviewed on Tuesday 12th July 2016
Following success off-Broadway, Fiasco's reimagined production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's musical Into The Woods has found its way to London's Menier Chocolate Factory. A cast of ten perform the musical, with many of them doubling up as musicians.
Intertwining several fairytales with some dark twists, Into The Woods remains one of my absolute favourite musicals and it's refreshing to see such a different take on the piece. Rather than creating comedy out of its limitations like The 39 Steps, Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld's production impresses with immense creativity and bucket loads of style.
Derek McLane's piano-inspired, wooden design magically creates an environment where imaginations are able to soar. Interestingly this is the first time I've seen a production of Into The Woods since Disney's film adaptation was released in 2014; like to the movie, this staging is a little more accessible - it brushes past some of the darker turns that unfold in the second act.
The cast, who are all reprising their performances from New York, give stellar performances. They're all multi-talented and remarkably versatile. Despite the orchestrations sometimes sounding a little too thin, musical numbers have been interpreted with such detail creating some stunning, poignant moments. Seeing a stripped down production of Into The Woods highlights the show's exploration of parenthood, transformation and desire more than ever. The emotion creeps up and catches you at the end.
Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)
Into The Woods runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 17th September 2016.
Please visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com for further information and tickets.
Photo Credit: Catherine Ashmore