Into the Woods | Theatre Review

Photo credit: Cardiff University's Act One Society

By Rachel Nurse

★ ★ ★ ★

The Brothers Grimm hit the YMCA stage with an epic fairy tale about wishes, a witch and the wicked choices we make brought to life by Cardiff University’s Act One society.

Laura Martin directs the well-loved musical ‘Into the Woods’ where a witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree. To undo their bad luck by collecting four objects in three days: “The cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold.”

“Everyone has been absolutely fantastic taking on such a high-pressure and fast-paced production,” says director Laura Martin.

Into the Woods is about life and what you get and what you do with your choices. It includes infidelity, lust, youth, desires, death and loneliness. It shows that not everything is a fairy tale and a lot of choices have consequences, bad or good. It represents the phrase, “be Careful what you wish for- you just might get it”.

Wonderfully casted with stand-out performances from Lily Turner (The Witch), Jess Bragg (Jack’s mother) and Seven Acosta (Jack). It is also necessary to give props to the amazing music and congratulate all the actors who took on very complicated songs and made them their own.

Production Manager Angus Lapsile says, “’Into the Woods’ is Sondheim’s masterpiece; a plethora of clever lyrics, difficult music and hilarious characters. For a university drama society to pull it off is the reason that one has to have a very special group of people.”

The movement of the plot is of course entirely beholden to the complexity of Sondheim’s music and lyrics.

Very funny in a dark way but also very deep and complicated.