What happens after happily ever after? Harvest Rain will explore this idea with Stephen Sondheim’s twisted fairy-tale, Into the Woods, this October.
The cast have just been announced and it’s a pretty exciting line-up. Rhonda Burchmore (Eurovision, Mame, Little Orphan Annie) plays the Witch. Georgina Hopson (Pirates of Penzance) and Natalie Greer will enchant as Cinderella and Rapunzel respectively. Kimberly Hodgson plays Little Red, Tom Oliver is Jack, and Steve Hurst and Riley Sutton are set to charm as the Princes. Finally, Eddie Perfect (Offspring, Playschool, South Pacific) plays the Baker and Rachel Beck (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Beauty and the Beast) will play the Bakers wife.
Aussie Theatre writer, Jemma Lanyon, caught up with Eddie Perfect at the launch to chat about all things musical.
Eddie Perfect began in music. In 2009 his satirical musical, Shane Warne – The Musical, took out multiple awards, including the Green Room and Helpmann Awards for Best New Australian Musical. As a composer and lyricist, Perfect has been inspired by Sondheim, but this is the first time he’ll perform in one of his shows. He’s looking forward to working on music he hasn’t written. “If you perform your own material, everything is up for grabs. Nothing feels solid. You don’t know if it works”. Perfect says “With Into the Woods, you know every note, every line of dialogue, is there for a reason”.
Perfect recalls that when he first listened to Into the Woods at age 15, he was enthralled.
“It was a world populated by fairy tales, with intermingled narratives. I loved the real fantasy. As you get older you connect more with the second act. What appeals to me now are the ideas about raising children, the concept of an orthodox morality, how to foster a life, how to deal with a challenge”.
His character, the Baker, certainly has plenty of those. Journeying into the woods with his wife in order to break a curse of infertility on his family.
“It places a great strain on the relationship”. Perfect says, “Maybe the modern equivalent is IVF. How committed to it are you? How far will you go?… As an actor, it’s a wonderful role. The baker has a great journey”.
When asked about Perfect’s approach to the role, he replied,
“I have a tendency to look for darkness. He [the baker] starts in a dark place. He’s in a dark place for most of the show. He’s inherited a curse. He has to deal with the consequences of other’s actions… I’m interested to see how dark we can start the Baker”.
So come Into the Woods. It’s a magically tangled tale of the beauty, confusion, pain and wisdom that life can entail. But be careful what you wish for.
Into the Woods will open at QPAC’s Concert Hall on October 1. For more information, visit the website: QPAC – Into The Woods.