Putting It Together – Sondheim Revue, Komedia Studio, Brighton, until May 24, call 01273 917272 (From The Argus)
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Putting It Together – Sondheim Revue, Komedia Studio, Brighton, until May 24, call 01273 917272
The Festival Fringe serves up a second helping of the work of Stephen Sondheim. This compilation is a songfest with a storyline, albeit a thin one. Set within a framework of a cocktail party, given by a wealthy businessman and his society wife, it examines their relationship along with that of one of his young employees and his girlfriend.
Shoehorned into this scenario are 29 of Sondheim’s songs – many will be familiar but included are several that never made it into the shows they were written for. While he is well-known for his theatre work, Sondheim has also written for films and the show contains three numbers from Dick Tracy.
This highly enjoyable show is presented by Sussex University Musical Theatre Society and performed by five of its members. Carole Cassidy and Talia Cohen have a whale of a time in There’s Always A Woman and also in Lovely, which is given a hilariously sarcastic twist.
Duncan Drury, who also directs the production, impresses with his singing - especially the powerful Marry Me A Little and in Pretty Women where he is joined by John Shaffer.
Linking commentary comes from Jacob Jackson who relishes the chance to shine with Buddy’s Blues – a maniacal duet he sings with himself.
The show suffers from a small stage and would benefit from a larger venue. A directorial mistake is having the cast constantly trooping backward and forward through the crowded audience. It’s noisy, distracting and breaks up the show’s rhythm.