Review: Canolfan Berfformio Cymru Presents Into the Woods at The Gate.

Black and white woods with title over the top.
*Thank you to Canolfan Berfformio Cymru for press tickets. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Last night Nanny Kim and I had the pleasure of attending the very gorgeous theatre at The Gate in Roath. This venue is unique and completely beautiful, and the perfect setting for the magical musical Into the Woods.

If you’re unfamiliar with Into the Woods, well you’re missing out on something amazing. The story is a combination of fairytales mixed together in a very thought-provoking tale, alongside beautifully written music and lyrics from Stephen Sondheim. I remember seeing the movie for the first time, but not quite loving it as much as I do now, I think seeing live productions evoke more emotion and thought compared to movies…

Since seeing it live on stage I’m now a huge fan of this musical, mostly because I adore the lyrics and the sentiment behind each story. Into the Woods offers a modern approach to the classic fairytales, but keeps elements alive from the original Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault tales, such as the blinding of Rapunzel’s Prince or the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. 

I was intrigued to see how Canolfan Berfformio Cymru would perform this awesome tale. The stage was set with scaffolding and sparse props, giving the scene quite an industrial and modern feel. There was a medium sized white screen intertwined within the set, offering visual accompaniments such as shadow and video elements which created extra layers within the performance.

Within seconds we were plunged into the performance. I cannot say enough how much I adore the music and lyrics of this musical, and there were some very talented performers within this production!

Firstly, the cast seemed extremely close; they all worked together throughout the show and created some gorgeous harmonies and solid performances. There was a lot of humour within this performance, with a strong performance from Gwen Williams as Little Read Riding Hood. Gwen had the audience laughing out loud with her deadpan lines, perfectly timed and all in character, she was really fab and had a voice to match!

Glain Rhys played the conflicted Cinderella, and I could have listened to her sing all evening. She had a wonderful stage presence, and was truly mesmerising during the show. I loved her performance of On the Steps of the Palace!

For me, the funniest elements came from Cinderella’s Prince (Eilir Gwyn), he was completely hilarious and I’m not sure how he kept a straight face as he sang Agony alongside Rapunzel’s Prince (Jack Oatly). Their interactions were spot on, hilarious and very well performed. 

The Baker (Jed O’Reilly) offered another very strong performance, and I felt terribly sorry for him throughout. He offered a very sensitive take on the character, with lovely performances of It Takes Two and No One Is Alone. 

I also adored Mirain Wyn Evans as the Witch, especially her performance of Stay With Me, as well as Joel Edwards very sweet and innocent performance as Jack… 

In fact, it’s hard not to list everyone’s amazing performances, because they all worked so well together and the show was just really lovely. I adored the standing ovation from the audience also, it’s always a magical thing to see and be a part of. 

I implore you to support this wonderful cast of very talented young people and go see one of their productions! They will be performing Into the Woods at Halliwell Theatre on 27th & 28th March.


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