Into the Woods
17 February – 5 March 2022
Theatre 102, Redcliffe
Performing at their own Theatre 102, Redcliffe Musical Theatre’s reimagining of Stephen Sondheim’s classic comes with a slight twist on the traditional fairytale concept.
Into The Woods follows the story of a Baker and his wife who wish to have a child, but are unable due to a Witch’s curse. It also shows Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival, and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. The little group sets off on an adventure to break the spell; however, when everyone’s wish is granted, the consequences of their actions return to haunt them with disastrous results. Into The Woods features music and lyrics by Sondheim, with a book by James Lapine, and is one of Sondheim’s most popular works.
Director Elodie Boal’s vision for the show hopes to achieve something different – this production of Into The Woods is set in a post-apocalyptic world, approaching the musical with a 21st-century lens in a deeper exploration of the show’s themes. The RMT cast includes 17 local performers, after an audition process that saw well over 100 apply.
“When I was first approached to direct Into The Woods, I knew I wanted it to be a fresh new take, relevant to audiences of today. I wanted to really harness the reality within a fairytale world,” said Boal.
“The show is set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia and starts with a scavenging explorer who has found the last book of fairytales. We see what fairytales might look like in this corrupted future and it presents as part of her imagination. It’s definitely a new interpretation, but I really think it lets us discover something new in Sondheim’s wonderful story.”
The musical centres on wishes, family, and choices; as a playwright, Boal reiterates that such a thematic approach comes from her love of interactive theatre and fractured fairytales.
“There’s so much more to each fairytale character that we’ve grown up to know and adore. Playing and breaking down their layers has been an exciting way to reinvent who they might be and how they came to be that way,” she said. “It all comes down to, how do they relate to our world now? We’ve incorporated some interesting themes to really tie back into this question – nature reclaiming its agency, consumption, trauma, mental illness – there’s a lot to discover within this show and the cast have had equal input in the collaboration.”