Dazzling new take on fairytale endings

Into The Woods with Emily Blunt and James Corden. Photo: PA Photo/Disney/Peter Mountain

Into The Woods with Emily Blunt and James Corden. Photo: PA Photo/Disney/Peter Mountain

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Traditionally in fairytales, the bedraggled heroine wins her dashing prince and evil stepmothers get their comeuppance.

Abducted children escape the clutches of a witch by pushing the treacherous hag into her oven into her oven.

However, Into The Woods keeps turning the pages on these archetypal characters, imagining what might happen as they come to terms with their actions and – in most cases – suffer the repercussions.

Light comedy and heartrending tragedy skip hand in hand in James Lapine’s screenplay and Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics, which are ambrosia for director Rob Marshall, who propelled the 2002 film version of Chicago to Oscar glory.

The Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) yearn for a child but cannot conceive.

The Witch (Meryl Streep) next door promises the couple a family if they bring her four objects before the blue moon.

As the fated hour approaches, the childless couple resorts to desperate measures to collect the objects for the Witch.

Marshall doesn’t shy away from delivering bitter pills in the final act courtesy of a marauding giant (Frances de la Tour).

Everything has a price, especially your heart’s desire, so be careful what you wish for.