Earlier in the year Glasgow Music Theatre wowed us with a sterling performance of West Side Story, Bernstein’s best-loved streetwise reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Described as “rangy” to sing, and very demanding in choreography, it is in no way a forgiving show to performers. This time the rise to meet the challenge of George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s Company, best remembered as the first ever “concept musical” in which the running narrative is of secondary importance to exploration of a the theme, in this case, marriage.
The cast explores the highs and lows in close harmony, the ins and outs with witty repartee, the pros and cons in full polyphony, and never miss a note. Bobby, played perspicuously by Stuart Archibald, has become increasingly aware that he is the only one amongst his friends who is not married or getting married. He discovers that three’s Company (if you’ll pardon the pun) as he wanders from one couple’s house to another, trying to figure exactly what he may be missing out on. Stunningly, during each song we feel an acute sense that we’re being told something very exciting and insightful. Glasgow Music Theatre do this extremely well written work of theatre the justice it deserves.
There is some enjoyable choreography in songs such as Side by Side by Side, great laughs in Have I Got A Girl For You and Not Getting Married Today, and some stand-out performances by Ami Duncan who inventively interprets April - a naive flight attendant self-described as "dumb" - Nicola Coffield and Gregor Duthie who make Sarah and Harry into a scarily convincing couple, and Kerry Burley who simply oozes cattiness in her role as Joanne, though, truth be told, the acting is of a very high standard across the board.
One of the most instantly striking aspects of the performance is the deft with which the highly complex chorus numbers, which intersperse a cascade of staggered vocals with one another, are rendered, and all of this accompanied by one man (Jonathan Salmond) on an electric piano. Despite having only four shows behind them thus far, Glasgow Music Theatre are fast attaining a worthy reputation in Glasgow as highly skilled, and teeming with talent.