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Into the Hoods is a great night out

If you’re in London you must have seen the posters. They are everywhere. I wondered what Into the Hoods was all about and now I know. The show that has been getting rave reviews for a while now is a fairytale that has been adapted into a hip hop, b-boy dance extravaganza, with the moves inspired from songs by artists such as Missy Eliott, Chaka Khan, Dr. Dre and Dizzee Rascal, although the music throughout ranges from modern to 1970s disco classics. Hip hop and RnB are used to tell the story of the characters, just as you would have in any other musical.

The story is based on Stephen Sondheim’s musical, Into the Woods, and is a combination of four fairytales, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel, and the characters are appropriately named Lil Red, Rap-on-zel, Spinderella, Wolf and Giant. With each new character and with each new part of the story there is a whole new reason to dance, and boy does the cast dance!

Full on breakdancing is carried out in groups with excellent timing that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Every few minutes you have to wonder, “did that just happen?”

Perhaps what is most important though is the fact that even though this is a fairytale musical that is now being performed in the West End, it has subtle undertones of social critique. It is not often that a musical is actually sensitive and uses itself to draw attention to real issues, rather than real issues to draw attention to itself. And in no way is the story condescending, moralistic or patronising.

It’s a great night out no matter what your age or cultural background and very indicative of modern societies in England. You are bound to enjoy the new interpretations of fairytale classics, or the incredible dance moves or recognise something of yourself in the characters’ situation, no matter how fantastic it may seem. Treat yourself and head down to the Novello Theatre for a rare night out.

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