JUDI DENCH     LAURENCE GUITTARD    SIMON  BURKE

PATRICIA HODGE     JOANNA RIDING

 

Sondheim's Beloved Score

This 1973 score is one of Stephen Sondheim's best works and also one of the most accessible he ever wrote. The music is perfect and, maybe because all the songs were written like waltzes, very melodious. And what can I say about the lyrics? Sondheim was on top of his form and the result was sublime. He made us laugh, cry and think, but never let us untouchable. Every one of the songs is perfect for the character who sings it and they easily interact with Hugh Wheeler's fabulous book. This is also the score from which came Sondheim's most famous song, "Send in the Clowns"

An Elegant Production

Sean Mathias inspired direction turned this revival into an unforgettable theatrical experience. This elegant production, that was only possible thanks to London's National Theatre,  manages to be simple and stylized at the same time, resulting into a sophisticated show. Mathias knew how to took

the maximum advantage of the theatre large stage, giving life and emotion to it without the use of great sets or big effects.  As new today as it was back in 1973, this is an astonishing show, and this extraordinary revival is one of those productions that grows on us.

Three Glorious Actresses

As a director of actors Mathias had a full day. What a cast! All of them were absolutely amazing, but it's the ladies that really conquered us. As Desirée, Judi Dench is sparkling and glamorous,  so no one in the audience is immune to her. Joanna Riding, as  Anne, proves to be one of the most promising actresses working on the London stages. Last, but not least, Patricia Hodge's Countess is truly glittering, and thanks to her humor and great talent, she is one of the highlights of the show.

 

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim     Book by Hugh Wheeler

Choreography by Wayne McGregor      Directed by Sean Mathias

Rated by Jorge: +++++