Jack and the cow


Distinctive amateur drama
in Northampton since 1932

Registered Charity No. 294848


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Into the Woods
music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine
This amateur production presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited on behalf of Music Theatre International of New York.
Original Broadway Production by Heidi Landesman, Rocco Landesman, Rick Steiner, M Anthony Fisher, Frederick H Mayerson, Jujamcy Theatres.
Originally produced by the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, California.


Tue 16 - Sat 20 December 2014 at 7.30pm
The Church of the Holy Sepluchre, Sheep Street, Northampton Map


Cinderella Sam Pollitt
Cindewrella's Mother
Becky Woodham
Jack Jenny Welsh
Jack's Mother April Pardoe
The Baker Fraser Haines
The Baker's Wife Angela Moyes
Littler Red Riding Hood Hannah Burt
The Witch Rachel Bedford
Cinderella's Prince Louie Utterson
The Wolf Mark Woodham
Rapunzel's Prince Mark Woodham
Rapunzel Katie Bunting
Narrator David Chappell
Mysterious Man Barry Dougall
Cinderella's Stepmother Pat Bancroft
Florinda Doreen Wright
Lucinda Mindy Robinson
Cinderella's Father Tony Janney
Grandmother Suzanne Richards
Steward Alistair Way
Sprite 1 / Harp Ingrid Heymann
Snow White / Sprite 2 Doreen Wright
Sprite 3 / Sleeping Beauty Gemma Knight
Cow 1 Mark Mortimer
Cow 2 Clare Brittain
Chorus & Swing Doreen Wright, Ingrid Heymann, Gemma Knight, Becky Woodham

Philip Welsh
Musical Director Ian Riley
Voice Coach Mindy Robinson
Choreographer Mary O'Brien
Production Design & Build Tamsyn Payne
Wardrobe Clare Brittain, The Works
Additional Costume Making Pam Mann, Tamsyn Payne, April Pardoe
Additional Props Making Emma Wakefield, Verity Johnson, Mark Mortimer, Denise Swann, Jo Molyneux
Wig Taming Sidonie McDowell
Stage Manager Denise Swann
Assistant Stage Manager Jo Molyneux
Lighting Design Richard Walker
Casting Advisor Emily Riley
Set Construction Mark Mortimer
Photography and Programme Graham Follett, Tamsyn Payne

Conductor and Piano Ian Riley
Flute / Piccolo Christine Monk
Clarinet Abi McCarthy
Bassoon Holly Plowman
Horn 1 Lydia Jackson
Horn 2 Matthew Gibson
Trumpet Charlie Manning
Percussion Mark Gallagher
Violin 1 Janet Gallagher
Violin 2 Henry Bentley
Viola 1 Anthony Minards
Viola 2 Tom Warcaba-Wood
Cello Lawrence Creaser
Bass Michael Delancey

REVIEW: 'A big enterprise for Masque'
Tony Janney

Well, I know I was in it but... It was only a small part. Anyway, I saw the film the other week and blow me if Cinderella’s father hadn’t disappeared altogether. But I digress.

For participants, Into the Woods is not for the faint hearted.

Director, Phil Welsh, brought together a winning mix of strong singers and lesser mortals which he and Musical Director, Ian Riley, managed to coax, through much worry and self-doubt, into a formidable fighting force.

By the time we got into the Church all that was needed was an audience.

Into the Woods is a compilation of some of the more popular Grimms fairy tales which turns itself into an allegory with a simple message: the path of life is scary, unpredictable, messy and, at times, bloody awful. But if you follow your path into the woods, dreams can, sometimes, come true.

It’s not a show from which you come away humming a catchy tune,  but some of the songs are hauntingly beautiful.

Rachel Bedford as the Witch, a big part for which much of the first half she appeared, unfazed, bearing the handicap of a rubber proboscis and half mask, gave a virtuoso performance.

"Some of the songs are hauntingly beautiful."

Our Little World, a duet between the Witch and daughter, Rapunzel (Katie Bunting), was just so poignant. With Rapunzel trapped in mother’s idea of what’s best for her, you just know it’s all going to end in tears.

"...all the wondering what even worse is still in store?" sang the Baker, still reeling from the death of his wife. The song, No More, in Act 2, between Fraser Haines (Baker) and Barry Dougall (Mysterious Man) couldn’t fail to turn on the waterworks.

Fraser, not coming from an operatic background, I never thought of as a singer but whatever he does he comes up trumps and his partnership with Angela Mayes (Baker’s Wife and definitely a singer) was a cracking combination.

On the same theme, Hannah Burt WAS Little Red Riding Hood! She was just made for the part. I wonder if she’s like that at home?

If I had space, I’d wax lyrical about everyone. So much talent. I Wish...

From the joyous howl of delight and anticipation from the Wolf after his meeting with Red Riding Hood to Jack’s mother’s untimely demise and exit on a sack-barrow; from the Giantess, constructed from laundry baskets, buckets and brooms (ingeneously designed by Tamsyn Payne) to the backstage staff, Denise Swann and Jo Molyneux, making sure everything ran smoothly; and the best pantomime cow on the amateur circuit, Milky White. who inadvertantly ruined some child’s Christmas when he discovered she wasn’t real. All memories now.

It was a big enterprise for Masque. There were criticisms of course, not least the cost of the thing. But those who bought a ticket came away feeling they got their money’s worth. And you can’t do better than that.


PREVIEW: 'Great value for money'
Philip Welsh, director

Twenty-four actors, nine people working behind the scenes, 12 musicians (and a cow) - it could only be Masque Theatre stepping outside its comfort zone... again!

I am the guest director for this ambitious musical. We started work with some members of the cast in August with Singalonga Sondheim sessions.

"Traditional fairy tales with some very untraditional storytelling."

Since October though, Burns Street [where Masque Theatre's rehearsal rooms are based] and Holy Sepulchre Church halls have echoed to some of the most melodic solos, duets, quartets and group numbers that Stephen Sondheim has written.

Rachel Bedford plays the Witch; Fraser Haines and Angela Mayes the Baker and his wife; Hannah Burt is Little Red Riding Hood; Jenny Welsh and April Pardoe team up as Jack and his mother; Sam Pollitt and Katie Bunting are Cinderella and Rapunzel; and a host of great Masque singers and actors are making the intertwining of these traditional fairy tales with some very untraditional storytelling come to life.

Although sessions have been very intensive, Ian Riley (Musical Director), Mary O'Brien (Choreographer) and I have used some warm-up exercises that have kept everyone laughing a lot and Into the Woods is both funny and moving whilst never being less than very entertaining.

At two-and-a-half hours, the show is great value for money and the new heating system in the church will give our audiences an evening which will be a terrific start to Christmas.

This is the first production for Masque Theatre by director Philip Welsh. Since the late 1960s, he has acted in and directed more than 50 plays and shows.


Page last updated: 10/02/2015 Masque Theatre © 2015



Jenny Welsh as Jack and the cow (Mark Mortimer and Clare Brittain). Photo by Graham Follett