BROS Musical Productions will take you Into The Woods for their latest production, the James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim classic recently seen on the big screen.
For Bognor Regis, Caroline Bennett will be playing the Baker’s Wife, with performances at the Regis Centre from Wednesday, November 8-Saturday, November 11.
Fairy-tale characters meet and clash as they pursue their happily ever-afters. There are lessons to be learnt, dangers to avoid and dreams to be chased. What happens after happily ever after? Contentment? Happiness? Or more wishing?
Caroline admits she feared the Disney film would take the darkness out of one of her favourite Sondheims: “But it was good. It didn’t.
“I have always particularly liked Into The Woods. I have always been a big Sondheim fan.
“His musicals are always tricky to do, but they really give you something you can sink your teeth into.”
The piece famously pulls together a number of fairy tales including Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella – and adds a baker and a baker’s wife to provide the through line linking them all together.
“I think Sondheim’s lyrics are always so clever. The rhythms are always quite difficult, and the melodies are tricky too. Each character has a melodic theme that keeps recurring. I have been in Sweeney Todd and also Merrily We Roll Along, and I just loved them – even though they are difficult to do. The old classic musicals are all quite tuneful, but Sondheim is very different in that way, even though his songs are also beautiful. They just take a little bit longer to learn.
“In Into The Woods, the baker and the baker’s wife are trying to undo a curse which means that they can’t have a baby.
“They have to collect all these objects, four things and then their wish is granted which is Act I, and then you get Act II which is when you find out what happens after happily ever after.
“The first half could be a children’s show. It is fun. It is all very happy as they are finding these objects, but Act II is really quite dark.
“It is great to do. It is a real ensemble piece. Not many theatre companies do it because it doesn’t have a chorus. Usually you are looking at shows that have a really big chorus, but this one is a small cast of people that are all principals in the show.”
Into The Woods is the latest in a lengthening line of great musicals for Caroline.
“The last one with BROS was The King and I in May which was a really big challenge. It went really well. It was really good to do an old classic like The King and I.
“I hadn’t done one before. And then in the summer I did Chess in Arundel with the Arundel Players which was great, and now this, which is really different.”
Tickets from http://alexandratheatre.co.uk/