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‘Into The Woods’ musical to move after Terry Gilliam comments

The Old Vic said it "wishes the show well for its future life"

By Jen Thomas

Terry talking into a headset in a darkened room
It's alleged staff members felt that comments previously made by Gilliam were "at odds" with the Old Vic's values. (Photo: YouTube).

The musical ‘Into The Woods’ was cancelled at the Old Vic in London after staff were unhappy about director Terry Gilliam’s involvement.

People involved with the show insist it will go ahead and are seeking a new venue for the musical.

The Old Vic has not yet explicitly stated why the show was cancelled at the venue.

According to the Guardian, it is understood there was a case of staff unrest, owing to previous comments made by director Gilliam about diversity, trans rights and the #MeToo movement.

Former artistic director of the English National Opera John Berry, whose production company Scenario Two is co-producing the show, said: “We are focusing on finding a new home for this show.”

He added that Scenario Two still retains the rights for ‘Into The Woods’ and that Gilliam will still be directing.

The Old Vic posted a statement last week revealing that the theatre and Scenario Two had “mutually agreed” that ‘Into the Woods’ would no longer be taking place there.

The statement read: “The Old Vic wishes the show well for its future life.” They added that ticket holders would be contacted directly for refunds or replacements.

‘Into The Woods’ was due to run in spring 2022, however, The Stage claimed the cancellation follows a huge row that has been rumbling since May.

An all-staff meeting was held at the time, and according to reports Old Vic executive director. Kate Varah, allegedly addressed the upset raised by staff.

It’s alleged staff members felt that comments previously made by Gilliam were “at odds” with the Old Vic’s culture and values.

Some of the complaints came from members of the Old Vic 12, which is a development scheme featuring young writers, producers and directors.

Varah also met with Gilliam and co-director Leah Hausman to approach the situation.

The Old Vic released a statement to The Stage: “Ahead of any season announcement, senior management at the Old Vic would meet with the directors who are programmed to work in the season as a matter of course to discuss our culture and values. This happened with the co-directors of Into the Woods, Terry Gilliam and Leah Hausman.”

The comments in question from Gilliam came when he supported Dave Chappelle’s controversial Netflix show which any have called transphobic.

Gilliam said: “I’m encouraging all of you to watch Dave Chappelle’s new show … To me, he’s the greatest standup comedian alive today: incredibly intelligent, socially aware, dangerously provocative, and gut-wrenchingly funny.”

The director also previously caused controversy during an interview with The Independent when he described the #MeToo movement as a “witch-hunt”.

He also said he was “tired of white men being blamed for everything wrong with the world,” and: “When I announce that I’m a black lesbian in transition, people take offence at that. Why?”

Gilliam has not yet responded to the reports.