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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

With Into the Woods we enter an enchanted landscape that is beset, however, by lengthening shadows. The show, which starts as an ingenious retelling of some familiar children’s stories, darkens in tone as the characters face up to difficult decisions and sudden death. In this show Sondheim and Lapine do not just retell fairy tales; instead they examine why we tell stories and how they can be used to bring the listener to moral maturity, which means—and this is a recurring theme in Sondheim’s work—accepting the necessity of choice and learning not to rely on the world to provide you with a happy ending.

Keywords: Into the Woods, enchantment, Rapunzel, Witch, Little Red Ridinghood, fairy story, Cinderella, Baker's Wife, spell, narrator

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