If you ever needed proof that Edinburgh isn't a level playing field, then Kenmac's production of Company is surely it. This show could be transported, virtually untouched, to any West End stage. It really is that good.
The plot of Company revolves around Robert, a single man unable to commit to a serious girlfriend. All his friends are either married or in relationships, and much of the action features disconnected scenes in which Robert interacts with each of these couples to dissect how marriage does, or rather doesn't, work.
Mixed in with these partners are Robert's three past-or-present girlfriends. The timeline is non-linear, and the only link between all the characters is Robert's 35th birthday.
Kenmac have assembled a powerful cast of 14 actors to deliver this, one of Sondheim's strongest scores. It features some of the most outstanding numbers in musical theatre, including Being Alive, Side by Side and The Ladies Who Lunch, which is wonderfully sung in this show by Mary Anne McCormack with just the right caustic tone. Special mention must also go to Marisa Leigh Boynton for an incredible performance of Not Getting Married Today, a fast-paced tongue-twister of a song that shows just how much of a sadist Sondheim can be at times.
But the real star of the show must be the Director, Michael Strassen. I watched agog as he created the most incredibly fluid movement on stage. The last time I saw Company was Sam Mendes' 1996 London version at the Albery Theatre. Seriously, this is better.
Simply mindblowing musical theatre.