London Theatre Review: Company
| By Harrison Fuller
Company is, in short, a masterpiece.
Marianne Elliot’s interpretation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical is fresh, vibrant and feels like it could have been written yesterday, not 48 years ago.
The biggest alteration to the original text comes with the gender of the central character, Bobby to a female, Bobbie. Along with this, a same-sex couple has been created and, in order to help the gender switch of the central character, the roles of Marta, Kathy and April have been made male. These changes and revisions within the text have been made with the permission and assistance of Sondheim.
The presentation is simplistic with the action mostly taking place in a series of neon edged boxes that become Bobbie’s flat, a sitting room, a bedroom, a kitchen or a bar. Where the brilliance lies is in the music and lyrics, the performances and the direction. Sondheim’s lyrics are powerful, witty, funny, observant and every musical number is worthy of a standing ovation.
Bobbie is played brilliantly by Rosalie Craig and the supporting cast, that includes Patti LuPone, Mel Giedroyc, Gavin Spokes and Alex Gaumond among others, are all equally superb, adding strength to this great piece of work.
It is not often that you see a show and wish for more, but this is one of them. So much so, audiences have demanded more and the show announced an extension within a week of its opening. Company is a classic Broadway musical, written for today. With an outstanding cast and the touch of genius that comes from Elliot’s direction (she also has War Horse and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time running at the moment), this show deserves to have all the awards thrown at it. A truly landmark production.
Company starring Rosalie Craig and Patti LuPone is playing at the Gielgud Theatre through 20 March 2019.
Book your Company tickets now to catch this masterpiece before it leaves the West End.