Company – 2016 Edinburgh Fringe

As previously mentioned, I am a big fan of Sondheim's Company. It's about the relationships of Bobby, a single 35 year-old man in New York, with his three current girlfriends and the four married couples he's friends with.

Except that here, they've made the central character a 30 year-old woman, Bobbi. Two of the couples are same sex ones too. So I was curious as to how well it would work, especially when cut down to a run time of eighty minutes.

Obviously, there's no longer an interval, but at least a couple of songs have also gone (I don't remember hearing 'Have I got a girl for you' and the one with the women being rude about the air hostess girlfriend) as has the second visit to the divorcing couple with the balcony – no asking Bobbi about any same sex experiences here, because we already know she's bisexual! Personally, I would have made one of the other couples the 'two women' one too.

There are also some technical problems with the production/venue. The cast isn't mic'ed but the (probably recorded, as we don't see any musicians at the end) backing is amplified so the sound balance between the voices and the musicians isn't great. Sitting at the front is highly recommended, particularly as a couple of the cast aren't as good or audible as the rest. There's also a distinct mains hum on the speakers when more of the lights are on, so someone's not rigged things very well…

… but apart from all that (!) there is lots to like and the basic idea works very well indeed.


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