Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical is brought to vivid life by ground-breaking theatre company Fiasco but does it impress London critics?
The Guardian: *** Michael Billington found that: “it is impossible not to respond to a company who perform with such collective enthusiasm.”
Financial Times: **** Sarah Hemming wrote: “New York’s Fiasco Theater brings a rough-and-ready, improvised air to its production which suits the narrative.”
The Independent: **** Paul Taylor commented: “It’s a compliment to say that this production feels like the polar opposite of Rob Marshall’s glossy, lushly orchestrated Disney film adaptation of the show.”
WhatsOnStage: **** Matt Trueman summed it up by saying: “Fiasco reveal the shape of Lapine’s book anew: adults running away from responsibility, children losing their innocence, parents cocking it up for their kids.”
Broadway World: “If not the most vocally remarkable or musically rich version of this much-performed show – the use of everything from bassoon and banjo to a bucket is impressive, but inevitably the score is less textured – it is one that demands and rewards audience engagement.”
The Telegraph: **** Dominic Cavendish said: ” Misgivings melted away under the double-glare of both the company’s talent and tenacity and this 30-year-old musical’s innate capacity to enchant.”
West End Frame: **** “seeing a stripped down production of Into The Woodshighlights the show’s exploration of parenthood, transformation and desire more than ever. The emotion creeps up and catches you at the end.”
London Theatre 1: **** Terry Eastham found: “It is fun and exciting and gives adults a chance to enjoy themselves in a child-like way that would not be acceptable anywhere else.”
The Times: **** Ann Treneman described it as: “An enchanting off-Broadway production of Sondheim and Lapine’s fairytale musical, stripped back to its origins with a warm and folksy feel.”
Theatre Cat: ***** “In our woods of war and change and quarrel, wolf-harried, mistrusting our magic beans and trembling at distant giants, it was both a magical escape and a lesson.”
Live Theatre: **** “While Fiasco Theater’s Into The Woods offers an idiosyncratic and enjoyable take, one can’t help but wonder whether investing in a new production might have been a wiser, smarter move; almost certainly, it would have been a more musical production.”
Musical Theatre Review: ***** “This is theatrical storytelling at its very best, whether you’re new to the show or not. Don’t miss it.”
Theatre Guide London: “Anyway, the show is there. It’s flawed. The production is fresh, bright and immensely entertaining, and almost papers over the flaws.”
Evening Standard: **** Henry Hitchings commented: “Though occasionally too cute for its own good, Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld’s production is full of humour and proves eloquent about the need to outgrow self-obsession.”
Into the Woods will play at the Menier Chocolate Factory until the 17th September. Discount Theatre.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk.