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Review: Into the Woods at Newcastle College

Into the Woods
Newcastle College Peter Sarah Theatre
Wednesday 15th June 2016

The Performing Arts students from Newcastle College tackled the challenging arrangements in Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods with gusto. A talented ensemble pull off an entertaining show despite their collective young ages. It felt fresh and exciting.

James Lapine’s book ties in a number of classic fairy tales such as Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood.  A baker and his wife want to have a child but a witch has put a curse on them. They are told that to lift the curse they need to collect a shoe from Cinderella, hair from Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood’s red jacket and Jack’s (of Beanstalk fame) white cow. So they head off into the scary wood to pick up the necessary items within the time allowed. Add in some dysfunctional families and the odd angry giant to give a classic fairytale.

The casting has resulted in some really engaging cameos. Beth Crame gives us a slightly unhinged Little Red Riding Hood. Nina Daley is terrific as Cinderella. Bethany Marshall gives an air of apparent disgust as the Stepmother. Lewis Harley is great fun as the docile Jack. Spencer Hardy has the air of the Pirates of the Caribbean’sJack Sparrow as he sits in wait as the Wolf. It was interesting to see Lauren Todd’s Rapunzel go off the rails. Abigail Lawson ties up the loose ends nicely as The Narrator.  

The musical solos were fabulous as each song was delivered with confidence. Shauna Gallon’s Witch had a number of fabulous musical moments in the second act. Matthew Rankcom and Deborah Rushton had a couple of great duets in the first act as the Baker and his Wife.  Amy Greer and Hannah Lindstedt as the two Princes were impressive in the song Agony.

Whilst I have highlighted a few performances it has to be recognised that this was a really good ensemble performance that lacked a weak link. Director Samantha Dye should be pleased with the cast.

The show was preceded by a short show case ‘Wonderland’ from the first year students which had some great choreography. There was some real promise on show.

Into The Wood was a fun, entertaining treat.  A cracking cast have a great future ahead of them. It was a pleasure to watch.

Abigail Lawson – The Narrator  
Matthew Rankcom – The Baker
Deborah Rushton – Baker’s Wife
Nina Daley – Cinderella
Bethany Marshall – Stepmother
Olivia Harkness – Florinda
Brooke Cameron – Lucinda
Nicky Flynn – Cinderella’s Father
Olivia Walker Toward – Cinderella’s Mother
Lewis Harley – Jack
Evangeline Ferguson – Jack’s Mother
Beth Crame – Little Red Riding Hood
Kerys Allison – Granny/Harp
Spencer Hardy – Wolf / Steward
Amy Greer – Rapunzel’s Prince
Hannah Lindstedt – Cinderella’s Prince
Shauna Gallon – The Witch
Lauren Todd – Rapunzel
Leah Cook – Sleeping Beauty
Francesca McGibbon – Snow White
Ethan Scott – Mysterious Man
Rebecca Burgon – The Giant

Director – Samantha Dye
Musical Director – Joe Wilson
Musical Staging – Steph Barlow
Course Leader – Carly Woodhouse

This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Jowheretogo PR ( Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook

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