I remember sending a message to Steven Stead, artistic director of KickStArt Theatre Company, after seeing Disney’s film version of Into the Woods whether he had plans to do a stage version. He just said ‘watch this space’.
This week Durban theatregoers get to see Into the Woods on stage at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College campus from April 15 to May 1. I for one cannot wait to see Stephen Sondheim’s classic and I urge all my friends and family in Durban and Maritzburg to go and see it.
The staging of Into the Woods follows the local and national success of Sweeney Todd, which has just finished a successful run in Cape Town.
This moody, magical, thought-provoking musical fairytale parable for grown-ups has long been on director Steven’s wishlist, and now he and his creative collaborator, Greg King, are realising a dream – to bring the first ever professional production of Into the Woods to Durban!
The musical delivers a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the familiar plots of a few iconic stories and exploring the possible consequences of the characters’ wishes and dreams of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood.
They all go into the deep, dark woods on separate quests, and their paths cross and intersect with sometimes amusing, sometimes alarming results.
KickstArt has assembled and all-star cast for this production: Bryan Hiles and Jessica Sole play the central characters of the Baker and his wife, who have to collect a series of magical objects over three nights in order to dispel the curse of the eccentric next-door-neighbour witch and have a child of their own.
The Witch, a hugely challenging role first created by Broadway musical theatre diva Bernadette Peters, and recently played on screen by Meryl Streep, is played with relish and style by Durban’s own delicious diva, Lisa Bobbert.
Frances Currie, now resident in the United Kingdom, is coming out to play the indecisive and under-confident Cinderella, with Liesl Coppin as her wicked step-mother.
Graeme Wicks plays hapless, dreamy jack, with Marion Loudon as his exasperated, ever-practical mother. Little Red Riding Hood is played by Katy Moore, and her nemesis, the sweet-talking, always-lurking Wolf, is played by Lyle Buxton, who also plays Cinderella’s handsome and seemingly-charming Prince.
Rapunzel is played by sweet-voiced Haylea Hounsom, and her prince by exciting new-comer, Alex Hodges.
Into the Woods is directed by Steven, with musical direction by American musical theatre expert, Drew Rienstra, set design by Greg, costume designs by Neil Stuart Harris, and lighting by Tina le Roux.
Performances are at 7.30pm from Tuesday to Saturday, 2.30pm on Saturday, and 6pm on Sunday.
Tickets range from R120 to R200 for adults and from R100 to R150 for children and pensioners at Computicket. For block bookings contact Ailsa Windsor of Going Places via email at email@example.com, or phone 083 250 2690.
Please note that despite its fairytale characters, this musical is aimed at adult audiences, and is not suitable for young children. PG eight years old.
Photos / Captions:
Pix by Val Adamson
Left to right
Lisa Bobbert – Witch
Lyle Buxton – Wolf / Prince
Graeme Wicks – Jack
Bryan Hyles – Baker
Jessica Sole – Baker’s Wife
Katy Moore – Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood heads into the woods (Katy Moore)
Jack, having stolen the Giant’s magic harp (Graeme Wicks)
Fri 15 April 7.30pm
Sat 16 April 2.30pm
Sun 17 April 6pm OPENING NIGHT
Mon 18 April NO PERFORMANCE
Tues 19 April 7.30pm
Wed 20 April 7.30pm
Thurs 21 April 7.30pm
Fri 22 April 7.30pm
Sat 23 April 2.30pm
Sun 24 April 6pm
Mon 25 April NO PERFORMANCE
Tues 26 April 7.30pm
Wed 27 April 7.30pm
Thurs 28 April 7.30pm
Fri 29 April 7.30pm
Sat 30 April 2.30pm
Sun 1 May 6pm FINAL
Additional photos on request
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