“MAGICAL”, “enchanting” and “absolutely brilliant” are just some of the audience’s words which have been used to describe Shebbear College’s latest school production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical spectacular, Into the Woods!

The talented cast of actors and singers captivated audiences with their enchanting performance of this fairy tale like no other (with a little bit of dark humour thrown in)!

The story follows a baker and his wife as they set out on a quest to break a witch’s curse so that they can have a child, with their story intertwining with the lives of many much-loved fairy tale characters, including Cinderella, Prince Charming and Little Red Riding Hood!

Following the success of Grease in 2022, the students were keen to put on another musical this year, with Sixth Former Niamh Shaw, who played the baker’s wife, being the driving force behind the choice of show.

“It was great to be part of the decision to do Into the Woods. After Grease we wanted to do something with a fairly large cast and the songs and music in this production are just brilliant.” she commented, “I also really wanted to play the baker’s wife so I was so excited to be cast - and working with Toby (the baker) was such a laugh!”

Toby Shephard-Blandy in Lower Sixth, who played the baker, added: “Sondheim is an amazing lyricist and composer and the musical numbers are all phenomenal! It isn’t easy to sing, but it’s been brilliant to learn new songs and hear how they all come together as a whole cast and to perform them to an audience after months of practising!”

Nearly 30 students across all year groups have been part of the production, rising to the challenge both on and off stage and really displaying their resilience, energy, enthusiasm and talent. The production ran for three nights from Thursday, March 16 to Saturday, March 18, with each show bringing something a little bit different. Some audience members enjoyed it so much that they came to see all three performances!

Head of creative, digital and performing arts, Mrs Rebecca Sadler-Smith, who is now bereft that show week is over, said: “The cast and crew were an absolute dream to work with! They did us so proud and there were so many beautiful moments. We have a great deal of talent at Shebbear College and I’m looking forward to next year already!”