Into The Woods
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by James Lapine
A Northern Ireland Opera production, Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Director: Cameron Menzies
Choreographer: Jennifer Rooney
Set and Costume Designer: Niall McKeever
Lighting Designer: Kevin Treacy
Producer/SM: Kate Watkins
Costume Supervisor: Jeanette Tumelty
Hair and Make-Up Design: Nuala Campbell
Milky White created by William Todd-Jones and Philippa O'Brien
In a whirlwind quest to make their dreams come true, our cast of storybook heroes, heroines and villains learn to be very careful about what they wish for. Once upon a time, they all go into the woods on very different quests, all hoping to live happily ever after – just like in the fairy tales. But in these woods, nothing is straightforward… and what you think you want isn’t always what you end up getting.
★★★★★ OPERA NOW
Capturing that sense of movement is scenographer Niall McKeever’s fabulous set. Dominating the stage of the Lyric is the enormous fractal vortex that pulls you into the show – like you’re being compelled through a dark forest path or swallowed down the belly of a wolf. It also mirrors the turbulent thoughts circling the minds of these ever-troubled characters
Kudos too to McKeever for the costume design, which somehow manages to encompass everything from greasy denim and kitchen-sink realism to Highland dress and Arthur Rackham’s book of Irish Fairy Tales'
'The lights dim and the mist clears to reveal a towering wooden vortex, which will suck into its forbidding heart a jigsaw of human dreams, quests and ambitions'
'It’s staged in and around a stunning set by Niall McKeever: logs and ladders criss-crossing high above two staircases to form receding rings, as if leading deep into the subconscious. It suggests that the “woods” of the title aren’t only a place where dangerous urges come to the fore, but also a moral maze where (unlike in the original fairytales) the characters are confronted with the often disastrous consequences of what they wish for'
'First thing to draw the eye is the dazzling set designed by Niall McKeever; an architectural-like spiral of a eye made of wood and a constant throughout the running time. Character change is one of the main themes to the plot but the woods remain the same. Put simply a location and character in itself'
'We love the staging from Enniskillen-born designer Niall McKeever, who provided a spectacular set and creative costumes – with a special mention to the superb Milky White – the best transformation of a bicycle I’ve ever seen!'
'Niall McKeever’s set is magnificent. Filling the height, width and depth of the Lyric’s stage, the suspended wooden spiral could be mistaken for a science fiction portal into another dimension. Reminiscent of something a National Theatre budget could build'
'The stage is transformed via Niall McKeever's set into a symbolic wooden forest, both sinister and inviting. For that's what Into the Woods is all about, the stuff of our fairy tales, good and bad'