Who doesn’t love a fairy-tale?

When Stephen Sondheim’s fairy-tale musical Into the Woods opened on Broadway in 1987, winning three Tony Awards, it quickly found a following.

Now one of Sondheim’s most beloved shows, it has been produced many times over the years.

Into the Woods

Into the Woods, Northern Ireland Opera, 2022. Photo © Steffan Hill

In March, two different productions will open in Australia, one on either side of the country. In Perth, West Australian Opera will present a staging directed by Cameron Menzies, which premiered in Belfast in 2022 for Northern Ireland Opera. Meanwhile, in Sydney, Eamon Flack will direct a new production for Belvoir, co-produced with the Hayes Theatre Co.

Nothing is ever taken for granted in a Sondheim musical, and as you’d expect in Into the Woods he and his book-writer, James Lapine, have put their own spin on the usual fairy-tale ending.

The musical follows several familiar characters, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk. They are linked by the story of a baker and his wife, who are desperate to have a child, but have been left barren by a witch’s curse. At...