A SENSATIONAL Broadway musical will come alive at the Old Mill Theatre in April, focusing on relationships and their complications through song.
Written by Stephen Sondheim and directed by Dannielle Ashton, Company won six Tony Awards – including best musical – when it was first produced in 1970.
The plot revolves around the extremely good-looking Bobby who, after celebrating his 35th birthday, still can’t commit to a steady relationship although wants to share his life with someone.
Looking at how he interacts with his three girlfriends and five married couples who are his best friends, Company was one of the first musicals to deal with adult problems through its lyrics and melodies.
Sondheim is famous for West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Gypsy and says Company deals with upper middle-class people and their problems.
“Broadway theatre has been, for many years, supported by those people,” he said. “They really want to escape and here we’re saying we’ll bring it right back in their faces.
“What they came to a musical to avoid, they suddenly find facing them on the stage.”
Ashton chose to direct Company because of her love for musicals and challenges – and the fact Sondheim musicals always deliver the right combination of both for her.
“Company was one of the first contemporary musicals of its time and critically acclaimed for its rare representation and truthfulness of how marriage and relationships are stereotyped in society,” she said.
“It’s a difficult piece of theatre both musically and theatrically but we have a very talented cast and production team, so it will definitely be one to watch out for this year.
“The musical has been adapted from a series of vignettes that provide snapshots of Bobby’s previous girlfriends and his close married friends.”
Ashton has a wealth of award-winning theatre credits to her name including best director for Trainspotting, best overall production for Black and White, The Return and Indian Summer and runner-up best play for A Streetcar Named Desire and The Sum of Us at the past two Finley Awards, among numerous others.
She even set up her own professional production company, Burning Skye Productions, to stage Black and White at the Subiaco Arts Centre last year.
“Company is brilliantly written with a superb musical score and a piece of theatre everyone can relate to, if they’ve ever been in a relationship.”
The show plays at 8pm, April 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15 and 16 with 3pm matinees on April 3 and 10.
Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book on 9367 8719 or email@example.com.
The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on Mends Street, South Perth, opposite the Windsor Hotel.