Sondheim is proving popular with Plymouth’s am-drammers, with another of his musicals ‘Into the Woods’. This is the debut production for new company ‘No Walls Creative Arts’.
The first act of this musical tells the story of several different characters based on fairy tales and therefore ending happily ever after. The second act is where the fairy tale world starts to change to show what actually happens after the happy endings. A great story, which you may be familiar with due to the film release in 2014 featuring many famous faces, including James Corden and Meryl Streep.
Jemma Smith, in Meryl Streep’s role of the witch, pulled off the transformation from old and withering to young and sassy. She had a hint of huskiness in her voice which lent perfectly to the songs in the second act but she also had no problems with producing a fabulous cackle.
Little Red Riding Hood (Kathryn Djemai) is the first to go into the woods to visit her Grandmother. Kathyrn has a great voice and transformed the character from sweet little girl to wolf hunter after her experiences with the nasty wolf.
The narrator, Stephanie Reese led us through the story. She had mastered the right tone for storytelling and did justice to the wonderfully witty words of this part.
The show is fairly lengthy, as is often the case with Sondheim but the inclusion of clocks in the set seemed to emphasise this. Some of the songs could have been shortened.
No Walls will definitely be a company to watch. Clearly plenty of passion for theatre in these actors and producers so let’s hope we see them on the stage again soon.