Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Into the Woods is heading for the stage in Northern Ireland.
Running from 3 to 27 February at the Lyric in Belfast, the piece is directed by Northern Ireland Opera's artistic director Cameron Menzies. Menzies said today: "It's a wonderfully intriguing story that brings together and intertwines some of the beloved Brother's Grimm fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel to ask what might have happened before 'Once upon a time' and after 'Happily ever after'.
"We are thrilled to be introducing Belfast to some wonderful local talent, while also showcasing some of the West End's finest performers, some originally from Northern Ireland making their long-awaited debut performances back home. We will endeavour to create a wonderful tribute to one of the greatest musical theatre composers/lyricists of all time. There is truly now a Giant in the Sky."
The Tony Award-winning musical features classic songs including "Children Will Listen" and "No One Is Alone", and mashes together a variety of fairytales with characters including Cinderella, Prince Charming, the Baker and the Baker's Wife, Little Red Riding Hood and the Giants.
It was first seen on Broadway in 1987, winning a number of Tony Awards (though had a tough awards year going up against a certain masked musical, which runs to this day). It later appeared in the West End for 197 performances at the Phoenix Theatre from 1990, with an award-winning revival in 2010 at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. A Disney feature film starring Meryl Streep, James Corden and Johnny Depp also exists.
Full cast and creative team are to be announced shortly, with the piece featuring choreography by Jennifer Rooney, set and costume design by Niall McKeever, lighting by Kevin Treacy, production management by Pádraig Ó Duinín with Kate Watkins as producer.