By Conor O’Neill
Northern Ireland Opera with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and The Lyric Theatre are proud to announce the upcoming run of the critically acclaimed Into The Woods based on the book by James Lapine and featuring the music and lyrics by Stephen Sandheim.
Featuring 18 performers the show will be directed by Cameron Menzies.
Menzies describes the show as the ‘ultimate quest musicial. He added: “It’s a wonderfully intriguing story that brings together and intertwines some of the beloved Brothers’ Grimm fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderealla, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel to ask what might have happened before ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘Happily ever after?’.
“We are thrilled to be introducing Belfast to some wonderful local talent, while also showcasing the West End’s finest performers, some originally from Northern Ireland making their long-awaited debut performances back home. We will endeavour to create a wonderful tribute to one of the greatest composers/lyricists of all time. There is now truly a giant in the sky.”
Into The Woods is set to be Menzies’ second live production with Northern Ireland Opera since joining as Musical Director mid-pandemic in 2020. His first outing was the critically acclaimed Puccini’s La Boheme which was described by Opera Now Magazine as ‘opera at its finest’ in December 2021. The director’s talents do not stop at opera, he’s also gained recognition in theatre, musical theatre, film and cabaret. Watch this space as I hope to interview the man before the opening of Into The Woods.
The majority of the 18-strong-cast hails mainly from Northern Ireland including Newry born Sean Kearns as the narrator and County Derry woman Wendy Ferguson as Jack’s mother.
Cairan Scullion, Head of Music and Opera of Northern Ireland arts Council said: “Despite the many challenges presented by the pandemic, Northern Ireland Opera has offered audiences world-class performers and opportunities for our talented singer to perform and gain employment. This company is hugely proud to support them. What a fantastic start for opera in Northern Ireland for 2022.”
For booking details visit http://www.lyrictheatre.co.uk or phone the box office on 02890 381081.
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Founded in 2010, Northern Ireland Opera is no stranger to The Lyric Theatre. Previous productions include 2018’s The Threepenny Theatre, 2019’s Sweeney Todd – I review and loved that show for a different publication – and 2020’s Kiss Me Kate.