If you go down to the woods today … you’ll find York musical theatre company NE rehearsing for a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre from 25-29 April.

The musical is based on the Brothers Grimm stories and features characters including Cinderella, Jack (of Beanstalk fame), Snow White and Red Riding Hood. But this is no pantomime. From a book by James Lapine, the story is centred on a baker and his wife who are trying to lift the curse put on them by a once-beautiful witch.

They venture into the woods in search of ingredients to reverse the spell - including a milk-white cow, hair as yellow as corn, a blood red cape and a slipper of gold. Along the way they meet a host of familiar characters such as Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood.

Into the Woods premiered on Broadway in 1987, winning three major Tony awards for best score, best book and best actress in a musical. The NE production is directed by Steve Tearle, who also plays both the Narrator and the Mysterious Man.

Steve said: “This is an epic musical with an amazing stage set and costumes designed by award-winning North-East fashion designer Paul Shriek. We chose it as a tribute to the late Stephen Sondheim. Also, it’s a fantastic musical comedy for all ages and some fantastic retelling of some of the Brothers Grimm stories. As we’re a family-driven show company it fits in perfectly with actors on the stage from six years old.

“When designing the set I took inspiration from the original Broadway version of the show. I wanted the audience to feel like they were also inside the woods, so have used rainbow colours and various styles to try to bring the woods to life.”

Chris Hagyard and Perri Barley play the Baker and Baker’s Wife, while Pascha Turnbull puts a spell on audiences as the Witch whose curse is the cause of the baker’s woes.

Rebecca Jackson plays Cinderella, with Sam Richardson as her Prince, Molly Surgenor and Missy Barnes share the role of Little Red Riding Hood, Juliette Brenot is Rapunzel, with Kristian Barley as her Prince.

Ryan Richardson plays the Wolf (a role played by Johnny Depp in the film version). Jack Hambleton is Jack and Melissa Boyd is Jack’s Mother. Sleeping Beauty is played by Effie Warboys and Snow White by Elizabeth Farrell. Helen Greeley has, you might say, the BIGGEST role in the show - she’s playing the Giant’s Wife.

Also in the cast are Carolyn Jensen (Cinderella’s Stepmother), Rebecca Warboys (Cinderella’s Mother), Pat Mortimer (Granny), Ali Butler Hind (Florinda), Morag Kinnes (Lucinda), Paul Jefferson (Cinderella’s Father) and Scott Kendrew (The Steward).

Into the Woods, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, April 25-29, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; Saturday matinee, 2.30pm. Tickets josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk/ 02904501935