But the chances of you getting a ticket now are less than those Labour has of winning a election if one were called tomorrow (the run ends this Saturday 13th June). Unless of course one of the six producers (plus Miss Kazonga 2008, Ruthie Henshall) who were in the house last night decide to stump up some cash and transfer it to the West End.
It wouldn’t be a bad decision – the toilet arrangements would almost certainly be superior in its new home.
But it’s also a rather charming production. The “story” (actually there is no story) centres around 35 year old New York singleton Robert (Lincoln Stone – excellent) who has three girlfriends and a lot of friends who are all couples and are seeking to get Robert married off one way or another. The show is notable for featuring a slew of Sondheim’s more tuneful and wittiest songs (“The Little Things You Do Together” “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” and, of course “The Ladies Who Lunch”).
Andrew has many complaints about George Furth‘s book. He finds the vignettes outstay their welcome and insists that he simply can not care about Robert and his self-indulgent ruminations on whether or not he should get married and if so to whom. Phil thinks it’s all so much sour grapes due to the fact that Robert is attractive, sexually successful and has many friends whereas Andrew, well, eats without dribbling, has an O Level in Technical Drawing and possesses a passable recipe for hummus. That’s probably the best that can be said for him.
Mister Strassen’s production excellently staged in black and brown giving just the right hint of 70s-ness without overdoing it and features a well drilled cast who deserve to be seen by a wider audience. The louder or slower bits are considerably better than the quieter or faster bits but that’ll all come with practice, we’re sure.
Highlights included Lucy Williamson‘s Joanne (left) which is the only role worth playing in Company really. Williamson got an enthusiastic roar from the audience for her “The Ladies Who Lunch”.
Also outstanding was Lucy Evans (right, with Lincoln Stone) whose performance as air stewardess April was as poignant as it was funny and her duet with Bobby (“Barcelona”) was possibly the most sublime moment of the evening.
But the Whingers still had something to moan about: unreserved seating. We won’t go on about it because it’s a very long story but it ended up with the Whingers’ party being split into three – one group at the back and one behind each of the two pillars. Did we mention we HATE unallocated seating? HATE HATE HATE. Incidentally, Company is “presented” by Regan De Wynter which we think may be a sick joke at our expense as the name is an anagram of “we’d enter angry” and so it proved. Very angry.
But anyway, we won’t go on about it not least because (a) we didn’t actually pay for our seats so it would be churlish and (b) we were so won over by the evening’s entertainment that we actually ended up giving money to the Union Theatre in return for A Flat. Yes, the theatre is trying to raise money for a new piano and is appealing for people to buy a piano key for £25. The names of all sponsors shall appear on an appropriate display in the foyer, it says. We’re cock a hoop to finally be bona fide patrons of the arts – the first step on our journey to impressarioship, mark our words.
Programme-watchers will be thrilled to know that there is an acknowledgement to one Jonathan Harbourne for his cake design.