REVIEW: INTO THE WOODS JR (Curve, Leicester) ★★★★

Curve Young Company Musicals 16+ group, treated audiences to an abridged rendition of Into The Woods last week at Curve.

With music and lyrics by the genius that is Stephen Sondheim, this is a charming fairytale about wishes, love, the importance of staying true to not only yourself but to those you hold close.

This production was a whistle stop tour of the full-length musical at just an hour long. It goes without saying that you are bound to lose some detail in an abridged version but this production did a good job of largely staying true to the plot and giving audiences (that may be unfamiliar with the story) enough to keep up.

It was a shame that the production ended with the ‘happily ever after’ finale, lopping off the real ending (before everything turns just a little bit darker), but it’s hard to know how they’d have managed to do the full show, so with that in mind it’s easy to see why they made that decision.

This is a cast of some seriously talented youngsters. There’s something really touching about seeing some really strong performances and just wondering where these kids will be in, say, five years time. No doubt some will return to tread Curve’s boards professionally before too long.

Suraj Shah was mesmerising as the wolf – he really held his own in a large cast, clearly taking his inspiration from Johnny Depp.

Playing Cinderella’s prince, Alfie Bright was absolutely hilarious in his role, and Rose Caldwell was a charming baker’s wife, with some beautiful vocals to match.

Joe Waldon was a funny and loveable Jack while Matt Hilton was also well cast as the baker.

This is a well-directed piece (Siobhán Cannon-Brownlie) with strong choreography (Jessica Vaughan) a great night out, and you’ll definitely be humming the tunes all the way home.

Reviewed by Rosie Bambury
Photo: Matt Cawrey


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