Edinburgh Festival review
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Kenmac Productions
Michael Strassen (Director), Stephen Sondheim (Music and Lyrics), George Furth (Book), Paul Williams (Designer), Philip Coote (Lighting Designer), Jenny Kent (Musical Director)
ROBERT: Antonio Mcardle, SARAH: Abigail Rosser; HARRY: Tom Hyatt; SUSAN: Susan McCathie PETER Steven Craven; JENNY Daniella Gibb; DAVID George Rae; AMY: Marisa Leigh Boynton; PAUL: Paul Callen; JOANNE: Maryanne McCormack; LARRY Jack Reid; MARTA: Alison Larnder; KATHY: Katherine Eames; APRIL: Helen George

Company first opened on April 26, 1970, an instant hit running for 705 performances. The Broadway premiere won four Tony awards for best musical, book, music and lyrics.

Set in New York, this energetic, witty and colourful musical traces the romantic encounters of Robert, a 35 year old confirmed bachelor surrounded by his friends - five (happily?) married couples: Joanne and Larry, Peter and Susan, Harry and Sarah, David and Jenny and Paul and Amy - who keep him company alongside his three girlfriends, Marta, Kathy and April.

The action takes place on his 35th birthday, at a surprise party as he is cajoled and pressurised to find a girl and settle down. But Robert has a darkly cynical view of love and marriage. As Sondheim himself described his ground-breaking concept musical, the songs are placed outwith the dramatised vignettes where the dialogue does not lead conventionally into a number. As he said, "Company is not sentimental - it has a cooler, drier attitude."

Robert (coolly portrayed, forever centre stage, by Antonio McArdle) has the opportunity to observe, scene by scene, the lives of all his married friends.

This does not exactly fill him with encouragement. His friends argue, fight, plan affairs, talk of divorce or take refuge in smoking dope and alcohol. But through some of the narrative songs he learns a little more about what can make a marriage work, such as "The Little Things You Do Together." Harry and Sarah's image of togetherness seems to cause Robert a little jealousy - but not for long. A brilliant showstopper is the scene of Amy's wedding day. As she stands in her white lace gown, Amy (brilliantly played by Marisa Leigh Boynton) has developed psychologically neurotic symptoms, quite terrified now of the thought of marriage to Paul, as she reveals all her inner emotions in "Getting Married Today." The frenetic speed of the lyrics is quite breathtaking. Meanwhile Robert attempts to seduce April, (Helen George is cute as the beautiful but dumb blonde airhostess), Kathy and Marta to check out which girl is the right one for him.

On the tiny Chambers Street stage at C Venues, with miminalist set, this fabulous, top notch ensemble act, dance and sing with glittering Broadway pizzazz. A terrific 7 piece band sit high up on a mezzanine level above the stage. All in all, a well choreographed, fast paced, fun show. Only one quibble: the dreadfully uncomfortable, shabby seats the audience has to suffer - it's a long show with no interval.

Company: cast members

Cast List ROBERT Antonio Mcardle, SARAH Abigail Rosser; HARRY Tom Hyatt; SUSAN
Susan McCathie PETER Steven Craven; JENNY Daniella Gibb; DAVID George Rae; AMY
Marisa Leigh Boynton; PAUL Paul Callen; JOANNE Maryanne McCormack; LARRY Jack Reid; MARTA Alison Larnder; KATHY Katherine Eames; APRIL Helen George

© Vivien Devlin, 20 August, 2007 First published on
See also and Kenmac Productions

Run 12-27 August 2007