‘Careful the things you say: children will listen!’
In a whirlwind quest to make their dreams come true, our cast of storybook heroes, heroines and villains learn to be very careful about what they wish for. Once upon a time, they all go into the woods on very different quests, all hoping to live happily ever after – just like in the fairy tales. But in these woods, nothing is straightforward… and what you think you want isn’t always what you end up getting.
With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and the book by James Lapine, ‘Into The Woods’ premiered on Broadway in 1987 and has received 10 Tony Awards and 6 Olivier Awards. The 2014 film of the same name is an adaptation for screen from the original book by James Lapine and featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim.
Northern Ireland Opera are delighted to be bringing one of Stephen Sondheim’s most loved musicals to Belfast. ‘Into the Woods’ promises to be a real highlight for audiences in 2022: a wonderfully intriguing show that brings together and intertwines some of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel, to ask what might have happened before “Once upon a time” and after “Happily ever after”.
This locally built and created musical will be presented at the Lyric Theatre, featuring some of Northern Ireland’s greatest musical and creative talent. We are thrilled to be able to introduce Belfast to some wonderful new local talent while at the same time to be able to showcase some of the West End’s finest performers, some originally from Northern Ireland and making their debut performances back home.
‘Into The Woods’ follows three highly successful productions each February by Northern Ireland Opera at the Lyric: ‘The Threepenny Opera’ in 2018, ‘Sweeney Todd’ in 2019 and ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ in 2020. We look forward to welcoming audiences old and new to this latest production, opening on 9th February 2022.
- The Times ‘Cameron Menzies’s production storms along with such irresistible zest and unflagging energy that it deserves packed houses throughout its run.’
- The Sunday Times ‘This outrageously stylish revival of Sondheim’s 1986 hit musical showcases wonderful vocal performances, and Menzies manages to tame what is a beast of a show.
- The Irish Times: ‘Only a national tour marketed to families could make it better.’
- The Stage: ‘Inventive direction, an inspired design concept and a spirited 19-strong cast.’
- The Irish News ‘A thrilling, moving, entertaining night of musical theatre’
- No More Workhorse: ‘Cameron Menzies and Northern Ireland Opera conjure up a broad, enjoyable production of this perennial tale of bittersweet enchantment and double-edged desire.’
- Belfast Live: ‘a joyful production, with an excellent cast, magnificent music and evidently a very good background team… we’re lucky to have a talent like Cameron Menzies working in Northern Ireland.’
- Seen and Heard International ‘a terrific production fuelled by first-rate acting.’
- Music Theatre International: ‘a memorably Belfast-infused Into The Woods, enhanced by a fantastic-sounding orchestra and a cast of beautifully naturalistic voices.’
PRESS AND MEDIA SELECTION:
- Interview with Director Cameron Menzies and Sean Kearns (Narrator/Mysterious Man) on RTE Arena – listen from 35 mins in.
- Interview with Sean Kearns and Wendy Ferguson on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘The Ticket’ – listen from 10 mins in.
- The Belfast Newsletter – Into The Woods feature
- British Theatre Guide – Into The Woods feature
- Show Preview – London Unattached.
- Musical Theatre Review – Cast Announcement
- Sunday Life feature announcing May McFettridge as the voice of The Giant
- Interview with Conor Quinn (Jack) in Culture Crush NI
- Theatre Weekly Show Announcement
Press and Media Consultant – Fourth Wall PR
Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. Presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe)
A final note from our Director, Cameron Menzies about the legendary composer and lyricist of ‘Into The Woods’, Stephen Sondheim, whose recent loss is an incalculable one to music and to theatre:
“We will endeavour to create a wonderful tribute to one of the greatest musical theatre composer/lyricists of all time. There is truly now a Giant in the Sky.’’
The Irish News
'A thrilling, moving, entertaining night of musical theatre.'