By Neil Durham
WORTH A LOOK?: *****
WHEN? Friday 20 May, runs to 12 June 2022 RUNTIME: 180 minutes (with 20-minute interval)
Robert is single but dating and on his 35th birthday we see his life through his interaction with multiple couples.
- Read on for reasons including how this faithful interpretation of the 1970 original is unexpectedly moving
He’s having a midlife crisis and wondering whether he should be settled down with 1 of a number of girlfriends he has? Or do the failing marriages in his orbit tell him that a trip down the aisle is a step too far?
The only version of Company that we have seen previously was the 2018 West End revival directed by Marianne Elliott which is currently nominated for 9 Tonys and has a female Bobbie at its heart.
We said then: ‘The biggest compliment we can pay this inventive reimagining with a female Bobbi is that it works so well that it’s hard to imagine with a male lead.’
Here we are then with an Antonio Banderas-directed (A Chorus Line, Tivoli Theater, Barcelona) interpretation which seems far more faithful to its origins as a 1970 Stephen Sondheim musical which originally won 6 Tonys.
Anna Moliner as an intense Amy and Robert Gonzalez as a relaxed Paul still give us a frenetic Getting Married Today with Moliner even venturing into the audience as she seeks escape from a bond she views as a ball and chain.
The legendary Elaine Stritch played Joanne in the original and here the character is far more overtly sexual than we were expecting at the hands of Marta Ribera and her vodka stingers.
Roger Berruezo’s Bobby also seems far more of a magnet than in the more recent update with our hero even beautifully rebuffing an unexpected same sex advance at 1 point.
This Banderas production has a stage revolve which allows the cast to often sit at the edge of the action observing as the vignettes between Bobby and the couples/his girlfriends unfold.
The use of a see-through curtain occasionally at the front of the stage allows images to be projected onto Bobby memorably as he contemplates both his friends and a wedding ring.
Berruezo’s descent into crisis is far more vividly drawn than we remember previously and his concluding Sentirse Vivo (Being Alive or in this case, literally, Feeling Alive) is exceptionally moving as well as being strikingly sung.
Given the recent update, we weren’t expecting this more faithful version of Company being quite so affecting but it’s a version that’s beautifully realised by both director and cast.
- Pictures via Facebook courtesy Teatre Apolo de Barcelona Tickets
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