Out of the Woods to touch the stars: triumphant success for Music Theatre Society

The curtain has sadly fallen for the last time on this year’s production by the Music Theatre Society, and their assured performance of Sondheim’s Into the Woods that never puts a foot wrong. A strong cast and crew combined to give a professional production that at times transcended the auditorium and swept the audience beyond the theatre into the dark moral territory of Sondheim’s show in overwhelming fashion.

Into the WoodsAs Cinderella, Cheryl Ahmet demonstrated a refined, clear tone, and sang ‘No-one Is Alone’ in particular with a touching simplicity that was deeply moving.

Tenor Richard Simpson as the Baker projected great stage presence, and showed he had a clear insight into the musicality of his arias; he sang with considerable nuance to phrasing, and there’s a fine voice there as well. His delivery of ‘No More’ was full of subtlety and emotion, and held the attention of a rapt audience. Jenni Stewart played Little Red Riding Hood’s impudent childishness to perfection, and her face-muscles must have been working overtime as she portrayed the full range of impish expressions of the ever-snacking child.

The two princes were in very jolly form – the line ‘I was raised to be charming, not sincere’ was greeted with an appreciative and spontaneous round of applause.

Star of the show, however, has to have been scene-stealing Lucie Nash who, as the Baker’s Wife, was in inspired form as she painted the full spectrum of her character’s emotional range; moving from heart-rending desire for a child to puckish swagger and sultry seductress with the Prince, her comic timing in particular was immaculate, and the on-stage rapport with Richard Simpson as the Baker had a genuine warmth.  Moving around the stage with an ease that radiated confidence, her ‘Moments in the Woods’ aria was especially beautifully crafted, and sensitive to the nuances in the score.

The orchestra and singers were held together well by the efficient direction of conductor Adam Abo Henriksen.

All in all, this is a triumphant achievement for director and this year’s society President, Lisa Crowhurst. The overall integrity of her sure-footed directorial vision was alive to the sophistication of both Sondheim’s music and text, and its clarity allowed a natural ebb and flow to the narrative drama in a manner which allowed the nuances of the players and the changing emotional and moral relationships between the characters to stand clear.

Music Theatre SocietyBy the time you read this, the run will have come to its end and the woods will have been cleared; but the entire company can look back on three days of terrific accomplishment in the seaside playhouse.  A triumphant achivement for the cast, crew and Society: bravo.

3 thoughts on “Out of the Woods to touch the stars: triumphant success for Music Theatre Society”

  1. Truly a spectacular show, I was absolutely blown away by the talent of all of them. Must mention the character of Jack especially though, as he does not seem to be featured above! An amazing portrayal by the actor, and the solo of ‘Giants in the Sky’ was simply outstanding. I teared up a little whilst listening to ‘No one is alone’. Everyone was brilliant, congratulations to you all 🙂

  2. A thoroughly enjoyable show which held the attention of both adults and children in our party. Some excellent acting – Prince Charming seemed modelled on Flynn Rider from ‘Tangled’ and was hilarious alongside his brother. My 2 favourites, The Baker and Cinderella – vocally, the strongest in the cast and with their more serious roles, perhaps more difficult to portray. The children loved Jack and the Princes. Brilliant!

  3. Absolutely superb production from cast and crew! Huge talents within this society, plus I think an extra mention should be made to the character of the witch who I personally think was performed spectacularly! There was a real broadness to her character and to me she personally shone. Although I must agree that the baker’s wife was done brilliantly and the voice of Cinderella was outstanding and very delicately done. Overall a fantastic performance from all, be the characters big or small!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *