Director: Grante Messe
Musical Director Band: Andrew Christie
Musical director vocals: Robyn Kennerley
Choreographer: Karen Ruske
Review by: Farida Master
Company at the Harlequin Theatre is an insightful production about a confirmed bachelor who has just turned 35 and has his married friends pressuring him to settle down. Photo supplied
It’s packed with energy and sustains with tremendous spirit.
The focus of Company, a concept musical being performed at the Harlequin Theatre from July 27-August 10, is a confirmed bachelor who has just turned 35, has three girlfriends but no emotional commitment to any of them.
The production reviews his relationship with married couples and soon-to-be married friends.
The play is an insightful examination of romantic and marital mores as it gives a commentary on marriage with subtle humour packed in as well as a challenging musical score that the actors do justice to.
It’s story of bachelor Robert, played by experienced performer Ben Wombwell staving off the social pressure to settle down.
The show is led by Grant Meese, one of New Zealand’s finest musical theatre directors, who says the revival and its success is testament to the relevance of the themes that Company addresses.
“Everyone has a Bobby in their life, be it male or female – which may be for various reasons not conforming to traditional notions of marriage or settling down. Everyone who experiences this musical walks away with a smile on their face as they relate some of the themes of the show to their own or their friend’s lives,” he said.
Many actors have starred in the theatrical production of the original Company which is a 1970 musical comedy with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
The original production was nominated for a record-setting 14 Tony Awards and won six.
As for Company at the Harlequin, it’s great to see the coming together of a group of actors who are a mix of local teachers, lawyers and professionals singing their hearts out on stage.
Dale Smith, chair of Harlequin Theatre, says that none of the actors are paid and everyone volunteers their service. “It’s all for the love of theatre.”
Interestingly, Company is a stand-out with more male characters which is unusual for a musical and a live band adds to the magic of the evening.
Ten shows will be held at the Harlequin theatre.
Concessions available for seniors, students, Harlequin members and group bookings.