Theatre Review: Company At Gielgud

Company, Gielgud Theatre ★★★★★

By Johnny Fox Last edited 34 months ago

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Theatre Review: Company At Gielgud Company, Gielgud Theatre 5

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 modernisation 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.

Company, Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, W1. Tickets £12.50-99.50, booking until 30 March 2019.

Last Updated 07 December 2018