Brighton Fringe 2014
On the night of his 35th birthday, Robert, a confirmed bachelor, weighs up the pros and cons of married life, looking at the state of his friends’ marriages. His friends meanwhile are concerned at him being a bachelor at his age.
This is a brilliant production by the Brighton Little Theatre.
I have heard reports that Stephen Sondheim who wrote both the music and lyrics for ‘Company’ has discovered that many of his shows work best as small scale productions. This show proves the point. Here in the intimate Little Theatre, the music has been beautifully arranged by Gary Nock on piano and flute, a superb combination for Sondheim’s music. The singing from the company is exceptional all round. No radio mikes, just singing, beautifully balanced with the piano and flute and with every word of the songs clear as a bell. The harmonies when the full company are singing are superb. The acting scenes between the songs, some sad, some amusing are played with great naturalism and feeling. There are too many individual performances to mention, all were so good but Nathan Charman, who bears an uncanny physical likeness to Sondheim, plays Robert, the subject of the musical. He controls the stage and gives an extremely emotive and stunning rendition of ‘Being Alive’ with tears in his eyes.
The direction by Claire Lewis moves the show along with great energy and manages to control this large cast with dexterity. The choreography by Graham Brown is simple but extremely effective in the small playing area.
Brighton Little Theatre is a ‘not for profit’ company (how else could ‘Company’ be performed in a small theatre) surviving with help from volunteers. Many of the cast have trained and performed professionally and others who have not trained, are of the same high standard. It is a pity that this show, with all the hard work put into it, is only on for such a short time as it deserves to be seen by a wider audience. The show is called ‘Company’ and this is a fantastic company performance. Congratulations to all involved.