Over the weekend I’ll write a longer and more personal reflection on Company. 

For now, here’s my Londonist review:

UNLIMITED : COMPANY @ Gielgud Theatre  W1

 

Marianne Elliott’s imaginative and expansive revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company switches the gender of its 35-year old singleton surrounded by married friends.  It’s an electrifying modernization of what was already a pretty ground-breaking musical, but it‘s also now Sex and the City with songs.

 

Rosalie Craig is smart and likeable as Bobbie, but the rest of the characters are nightmares, propelled on a grand-scale rolling stock set by Bunny Christie and studded with motifs from Alice in Wonderland which add a surreal layer to Bobbie’s fears and dreams about marriage.

 

Maybe there’s too much scenery for such a plotless show, but there’s definitely a succession of ‘star turns’ from Jonathan Bailey’s hyper-neurotic gay groom, camply and emphatically updating ‘Getting Married Today’, a delicious ‘Barcelona’ with Richard Fleeshman as a gauche but muscular flight attendant, waking from a one-night stand, to Broadway’s resident snapping turtle Patti LuPone hammering ‘Here’s to the Ladies Who Lunch’ into the plaster cherubs on the front of the balcony.

 

But there’s subtlety, too: Gavin Spokes gets closest to the realistic and emotional heart of Sondheim’s original, leading the husbands in  ‘Sorry–Grateful’ a tender expression of loving endurance in long relationships,

 

And then ‘Another Hundred People’ got up and applauded Patti LuPone.

 

booking until 30 March 2019