Company
  • By Pete Shaw
  • |
  • 7th Aug 2008
  • |
  • ★★★★★

I am, it is no secret to my friends, a big fan of Sondheim’s musical about relationships, Company. I can report with a wide smile then, that EUSOG’s production at Augustine’s this year will not disappoint.

Company is a non-linear look at the life of singleton, Bobby. We start at his 35th birthday, were all his friends are either married or in relationships. As we jump around the timeline, we discover their stories and attempt to understand why Bobby himself isn’t yet hitched to one of girls in his life. Each vignette picks away at the ‘perfect relationship’, until ultimately one could argue Bobby is probably better off on his own.

EUSOG’s production simply shines. There are no weak links in the superbly talented cast, who can act just as well as they can sing, and the direction is tight and sharply crafted. Augustine’s is a bit of a challenging space for any director, but John McQuade really squeezes the most out of it. Using a range of black blocks, he creates a multi-leveled feast for the eyes as well as the ears. The movement is precise, focused and well rehearsed. I’ve seen some of this in previous productions, and it is employed to great effect here.

From the very first number, you know you’re in for a treat as the harmonies are powerfully delivered. It wouldn’t be fair to single out any of the performers, as they were all excellent, and confidently handled Sondheim’s tricky word play. It is often a problem of musical theatre that great singers aren’t always great comic actors – but that is not a problem here, as the timing and delivery of the humour was spot on.

Company is a perfect musical for those new to Sondheim, and I’ve yet to see a better example of his work this year in Edinburgh.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Assembly George Square Studios

The House

★★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Grace Notes

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

The Jungle Book

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

A Midsummer Night's Dream

★★★★
Multiple Venues

A Spoonful Of Sherman

★★★★★
Pleasance Theatre

Assassins

★★★★

The Blurb

Bobby - intelligent, charismatic, attractive and unabashedly single. Join us as we raise a glass to the eternal bachelor with his delightfully dysfunctional married friends. Sondheim's award-winning musical about marriage and the myth of the modern man, featuring a top professional cast.