Tone Deaf Theatre Company presents Comedy Musical Into the Woods at Durham’s Assembly Rooms Theatre

Experience spectacular songs and dark comedy in this musical classic as the Grimms Fairy Tales Characters venture into the woods to get their wish and learn the complications of what comes after happily-ever-after

Ending the Assembly Rooms Michaelmas Season in true fairy-tale style, Tone Deaf Theatre Company (TDTC) presents one of Stephen Sondheim’s most popular works, Into the Woods.  This is a dark comedy that follows a baker and his wife who wish to have a child; Cinderella who wishes to attend the King’s festival; and Jack who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wishes are granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

            TDTC was founded in 2010 with the aim of bringing small-cast musicals to Durham. Since then, it has brought shows ranging from the two-person cast of The Last Five Years to Little Shop of Horrors to the Durham stage.  What’s special about this production is that TDTC has chosen to multi-role the characters so what would normally be a much larger cast is being played by just ten people.  

Emily Phillips, director, says, “Into The Woods is a show based on much loved childhood fairy tale characters, teaching us to be kind to our childhood selves and to be careful what stories and messages we teach our children.   This underlying idea that your childhood and those who raise you forms your adult character is a timeless concept, and one that transcends ‘character’. Therefore, my idea to multi-role this show was a way to create a transience of character in a way that doesn’t obstruct the show’s message, and for some will invite new questions for the audience about the connections that bind these characters.

“My visual aesthetic for the show centres very much around childhood memory, so the main set piece is a child’s climbing frame, with a slide, sandpit, swings and towers, all of which are utilised as different buildings within the show. The decayed frame alongside the missing children posters around the set, encourage the audience to revisit the concept of ‘childhood memory’ in both its positive and negative lights, inviting them to engage more critically with the show’s message.”

Content Warning: Strobe lighting, loud sound effects. As is the case with many fairy tales, alongside scenes of magic and wonder, audiences will also experience reference to concepts of consent, sexuality, death, and murder.  Tickets for the show at the Sir Thomas Allen Assembly Rooms Theatre from Wednesday December 6 to Saturday December 9 at 7.30 pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30 pm are £8.50 standard, £7.50 concession and £7.00 for Durham Student Theatre members.  Tickets are already selling well and can be booked in advance by visiting