Into The Hoods is an explosive reworking of the already rejigged fairy-tale classics from the Stephen Sondheim musical Into The Woods. Following the freshly familiar characters Lil Red, Jaxx, Spinderella, Rap-On-Zel, Prince and The Wolf; this urban rendition of the Hans classic is an entirely dance focused production.
The award winning show set in the Ruff Endz Estate, follows two lost children who have been forced to find an iPhone as white as milk, trainers as pure as gold, a hoodie as red as blood and a weave as yellow as corn in exchange for a bus ticket home.
The deceptively large stage at HOME can bring a community atmosphere with its three two floored theatre and tiered stage. The space is kept intimate with a blacked-out stage and an ensemble cast of seventeen who capture the attention of the entire room without saying a word.
The show features almost exclusively hip-hop dancing where the audience were asked to whoop, cheer and engage with the medley of music on offer that had children and adults on their feet by the end of the performance. Audience participation often fills me with dread but during the production the Prince jumped off stage to serenade me. It was both painful and hilarious. Thankfully, I was not asked to join them on stage but the atmosphere was upbeat from beginning to end.
Despite the story following a strong cast of known characters with ensemble routines throughout, the show allowed every dancer on stage to have their spotlight in which to highlight their specific skills. The two-hour production included a smooth soundtrack too abundant to list, ranging from Cameo’s Candy and Jill Scott’s Golden to Missy Elliott and Kanye West.
Into The Hoods is as pure as gold with a tremendously talented cast who clearly love what they do and can capture the audience with their infectious joy.