The directors of the forthcoming Theatre Royal Bath production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods have revealed more details about the show.
Acclaimed stage and film director Terry Gilliam (Monty Python’s Flying Circus) and respected international choreographer Leah Hausman are co-directing the musical, and spoke to InBath ahead of the premiere.
The Into the Woods cast includes Julian Bleach (co-creator of Olivier Award-winning Shockheaded Peter, Doctor Who, The Borgias), Audrey Brisson (Olivier Award nominee for Amélie, Outlander), Nicola Hughes (Olivier Award nominee for Fosse and Porgy and Bess), Rhashan Stone (All About Eve, Noël Coward Theatre, Finding Alice) and Alex Young (Follies, National Theatre) alongside Gillian Bevan, Nathanael Campbell, Maria Conneely, Lauren Conroy, Phoebe Fildes, Samuel Holmes, Charlotte Jaconelli, Henry Jenkinson and Barney Wilkinson.
Gilliam says in the interview that he has wanted to direct the show ever since seeing the Richard Jones production at the Phoenix Theatre in London 1990 starring Julia McKenzie as the Witch, Ian Bartholomew as the Baker and Imelda Staunton as the Baker’s Wife; and that audiences can expect “joy, horror, beauty, imagination – a full range of theatrical experience” from their new staging of the show.
Leah Hausman went on to add that the show would evoke a “delicious visual world, lots of unexpected turns and twists, and some knock out numbers.”
In terms of the score, Hausman reveals that some small modifications have been made, such as “some music is intended to cover scene changes, which we won’t need, and there are other places where we’ve had to extend the music to accommodate our action.”
Regarding the creative look of the show, Gilliam tantalisingly says that “if you like Pollock’s Toy Theatres you will love this”, in reference to the fact that Gilliam and Hausman have devised a whole new conceit for the show, with the story unfolding through the eyes of a young girl playing with a Victorian toy theatre.
Hausman says that the design, by set designer Jon Bausor and costume designer Antony McDonald is “very ambitious”, and promises to be ‘unexpected, beautiful, dark and very Terry!!”
Gilliam goes on to say that, “the look of the show is one thing, but it’s the cast that absolutely makes it”, with the casting being a lengthy process, resulting in “an extraordinary cast, utterly extraordinary, everyone at every level is breath-taking”.
Into the Woods plays the Theatre Royal Bath from 17 August to 10 September 2022.
Photo: Terry Gilliam in rehearsals for Into the Woods, by Marc Brenner.