'INTO THE WOODS': Theatre Review by Shalu Mehta

First and foremost I would like to say I have not seen the recent film version

of Into the Woods and do not think I have to after seeing such a wonderful performance put on by Theatre Western. Rather than completely romanticising the magical elements of Into the Woods, Theatre Western made it both funny and heart warming at the same time. The humour in the script was brought out by the physicality of the actors and commendable sound effects while the musical itself was made to be beautifully magical with the aesthetics of set, costume and lighting.

Director Gillian Hosick made great use of the stage with the wonderful set pieces used throughout the show. It kicked off with an opening number that at first first featured solely the orchestra, allowing the audience to take in just how talented they are. As Cinderella (Jacqueline Verellen), Jack (Robert Popoli) and The Baker and his Wife (Stephen Ingram and Nicola Klein) came to life on stage, it felt as if storybook characters were popping out of their pages, bringing the magical world of Into the Woods right to us. The transition from their homes to the woods was seamless each time it happened and I truly felt transported into a different world.

Julia Dmytryshm who plays The Witch was by far one of my favourite characters in the show. Her hair, costume and makeup were absolutely horrifying—in the best way possible—and Dmytryshm’s acting, in combination with her powerful voice made The Witch seem hilarious and terrifying at the same time. Dmytryshym, however, played The Witch better as an actual witch rather than when she was in her “human” form. While in an absolutely beautiful gown (that even made an audience member whistle), her actions still seemed slightly restrained. It was as if the bulky witches costume never came off. Nonetheless, her vocals remained strong and her stage presence was notable throughout the show.