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Review - Into The Woods: a fun, modern take

By Liv Wilson

Into The Woods

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by James Lapine

Director - Elodie Boal

Choreographer - Juliette Connell

Vocal Coach - Meg Kiddle

Production Manager - Juliette Connell

Redcliffe Musical Theatre

102 Anzac Ave



Season continues until March 5. Bookings via TryBooking and

The story of Into The Woods follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse.

Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results. Lapine and Sondheim take everyone's favourite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece... and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.

Redcliffe Musical Theatre’s interpretation of this classic piece was an admirable attempt at changing the status-quo. Director, Elodie Boal stated that she wanted to showcase how these fairytales would look in the present, pandemic-ridden world. I agree this was a great show to ‘test’ this idea out on but I struggled to see more than a slight nod to an apocalyptic world. If it wasn’t mentioned in the program and across social media, I can’t say I would have known. It did however come across as a fun, modern take on Into The Woods and it was enjoyable to see how these household favourite characters would interact in the 21st century.

Beyond that slight criticism, the show was fantastic. A cleverly cast ensemble, each had a fantastic grasp on their character’s physicality and vocal qualities. The loving and complex chemistry between the Baker (Christopher Batkin) and his wife (Stephanie Collins) was a lovely break from some of the more intense characters. Jennifer B Ashely, who expertly portrayed the Witch, was in tune with her character from the inside out. Her vocal rasp, physicality and strong stage presence was what carried the show for me. Ashely came across as highly experienced and was controlled in her acting and vocals

Honourable mentions for Matthew Leigh and Matthew Bennett, who played Cinderella & Rapunzel’s Princes, they were just fantastic and their comedic timing was some of the best in the show. They also possessed some of the strongest vocals in the cast, a very strong performance from these two.

I thoroughly enjoyed the ensemble performance of ‘No One Is Alone’ and Kirra Lang (Cinderella) led it perfectly. Ashley’s solo performance in ‘It’s The Last Midnight’ was exceptional & had an intense power to it that I really enjoyed.

Apart from a few microphone/audio mishaps, the crew managed to maintain good control over the sound, especially for the small space the production was held in.

The set decorations were some of the best I have seen in community theatre in quite some time. Led by Ruby Thompson, the set provided a perfect backdrop for the spooky rendition and was just interactive enough to keep the audience on their toes.

This show is thought-provoking, entertaining and very worth the trip to Redcliffe to see. Well done to the cast on a great opening night and to Director, Elodie Boal for challenging the norm in a time where nothing is as it seems.

Into The Woods continues until March 5 2022.

Bookings via TryBooking &