Marry Me A Little ★★★★ Stage Door Theatre | Feb 28 - Apr 13, 2024

This is the first production at the new Stage Door Theatre above The Prince of Wales pub, and it is an auspicious beginning for the new venue. The intimate space offers the opportunity to have dinner and a drink before the show, and it makes an agreeable and affordable addition to the London theatre scene. This initial offering is a medley of Stephen Sondheim's songs woven together to create the story of two young people looking for love in the big city. Craig Lucas and Norman René created this piece in 1980, and it has been through various iterations since. The present version has songs from some of Sondheim's hits like Follies and Company and from lesser known works like Evening Primrose and The Girls of Summer. The work is entirely sung and without bridging dialogue the audience's imagination is called upon to fill in the story of the two parallel performances which express the angst and aspiration of dating and mating in the contemporary world. Shelley Rivers and Markus Sodergren play the roles of Woman and Man, the generic singles whose solitude is explored with Sondheim's usual wry wit and unsentimental sensitivity. Both singers put in strong performances rising to the not inconsiderable task of singing almost continuously and of thoughtfully articulating Sondheim's challenging lyrics. Because of the intimacy of the space we were treated to honest, unamplified voices, and Rivers and Sodergren both met this challenge beautifully. With the production of Marry Me A Little, the Stage Door Theatre has set a high bar for itself, and we look forward to its forthcoming shows.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Peter Davies

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