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Love and marriage unite at the Bridewell



Review by Emma Whitelaw

LOVE can certainly make you do crazy things, but could anything be as crazy as commitment? As part of their centenary celebrations, the Stock Exchange Dramatic Operatic Society, aka SEDOS, presents Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical, Company.

Paul Knapp is superb as Robert, the quintessential bachelor. With a string of beauties to his name, Robert quite happily lives a solitary existence. That is until his friends take it upon themselves to introduce their good pal to the joys of married life.

On his 35th birthday, Robert contemplates his single status and confronts the possibility that he is missing out on something from not being married. He probes and questions the relationships of those around him.

His very best friends are either married, been married or about to get married. Understandably confused by his friends' double messages about marriage, Robert examines the pros and cons of each relationship.

The first marriage that falls under the microscope is that of Sarah and Harry. Chloe Faine is adorable as the karate chopping, diet obsessed Sarah. Periodically forgetting his pledge to never drink again, Chris de Pury is hilarious as her other half, Harry.

Young parents and self-confessed 'squares', Jenny and David are the next shining example of marital bliss.

While sharing a spliff with the happy couple, it occurs to Robert that Jenny, played by the lovely Samantha Gallop, is held back by her husband. Feeling stoned for the very first time, Jenny really lets her hair down, much to the disgust of David, Craig Karpel.

Robert’s observations only confirm his doubts about tying the knot. The biggest shock comes when he discovers seemingly perfect couple, Susan and Peter (Jo Webber and Andrew Overin) have decided to get a divorce.

The confusion only continues when Robert admits to ex-lover and long-time friend, Kathy, that he would have married her.

Emma Hughes is excellent as the 'one that got away'. She admits that she would have married him too – if only he had asked!

The entire cast were superb! Though I must say that it was Susan William’s Marta who stole the show.

Her characterisation of the effervescently kooky, New York loving potential 'Miss Right' was sublime.

Reminiscent of Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, she had the audience in fits of laughter and I particularly liked her rendition of Another Hundred People.

With a host of comical characters accompanied by a fabulous live band it sure makes for an extremely entertaining night out. You are guaranteed to be in good company!

Stephen Sondheim's Company
Bridewell Theatre, Bride Lane, Blackfriars EC4Y 8EQ.
April 13 – 23 (no performances on 17 or 18 April).
Evenings: 7.45pm, Saturday matinees: 3.15pm.
Box office: 020 7226 3633 (Tower Theatre) (50p booking fee per transaction on Credit Card bookings)
Charity night: 50% of ticket income from the performance on Wednesday, April 20 will go to Remedi, SEDOS's charity of the year
Tickets: £15; £12 preview night; £10 concessions and SEDOS members (15% discount on groups of 10 or more)


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