Why should people come to see the show? What can they expect from it?
People should expect a uniquely Sondheim experience: black comedy, genuine hilarity, as well as deeply moving moments.
The show is all about growing up, and moving on. They can expect several show stopping solo numbers as well as a couple of well-choreographed ensemble pieces, all performed to the exacting standards of our MD John Warner (St Peter’s) and a fantastically drilled orchestra. Not forgetting in the slightest the magnificent set, created by Holly Muir (Worcester), which provides an elegant and provocative backdrop to play with.
There will certainly be laughs, at Sammy Breen’s (Corpus Christi) hilarious interpretation of Prince Charming for instance, surprises (making full use of the Pichette Auditorium’s structure) and – I can guarantee – tears. The chemistry between the cast is obvious to see and appreciate, especially through the performances of Clemi Collett (Mansfield), Ella Brown (Somerville), Olivia Waring (Worcester), and the rather more comical Chris Breeze (University). Our fabulous narrator Christian Gilberti (Pembroke) provides a rather dry and self-aware tone to the dramatic action that ensues, as well as a kind of moral guide.
There is far too much to do justice to, but expect far more than you would from your average musical! I must also mention that Chesney Ovsiowitz (Pembroke) will try his hardest to steal the show as the wolf. And why not?
Why do you think Into the Woods is as beloved as it is?
Actually I’d argue that Into the Woods has been severely overlooked! Whereas everyone knows Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, “Into the Woods” has only recently come back to the fore, having been produced in Paris this year and with a very exciting feature film on the way (starring Hellen Mirren among others household names!) I expect that “Into the Woods” will become a lot more prominent over the next couple of years. So this is a great opportunity for people to discover something new, before the trending begins…
Into the Woods is a huge ensemble piece. Which character do you identify with the most?
Despite playing the role of “Prince Charming”‘s little brother, I’d like to think that that role doesn’t translate to my life so far.
I think that we, as the audience, can all relate to the production, because there are so many different characters, each with their own big personalities to display and stories to tell. But I think the Baker best resembles the Everyman in us all, just trying to do his best for everyone in a difficult and changing world. Tommy Siman’s (Keble) portrayal is touchingly human and vulnerable, and I can’t wait to see what people make of it.
Me though? I’d love to think of myself as being a bit of a Witch (ha). She has some great lines and a very profound character, while seeming difficult and mean: “I’m not good I’m not nice I’m just right.” Anissa Berry (St Peter’s) might well steal the show with her eclectic performance.
What has been the most difficult part of putting on Into The Woods?
I’ve had an incredible time putting on this production, having been surrounded by a supportive production team, and a hard-working, truly inspirational cast. I really think the hardest thing is going to be the last performance!
Our cast is supremely talented, spanning almost all of the courses offered here, with a huge array of other interests and sometimes even social lives thrown in, so the hardest part has been logistics, but that’s only natural and part of putting on such an ambitious project.
It’s all part of the fun, and if anything, it’s a testament to the hard work and superb attitude of everyone involved that we’re able to put on such an amazing and ambitious show.
Describe your production in 3 words.