Marry Me a Little

Being the first show to be performed in a new theatre space is a daunting prospect, one which Lamco Productions have taken on with vigour. Marry Me a Little is a wonderful choice to christen the new Stage Door Theatre, a small intimate space which allows the audience to feel connected with the piece being played out in front of them.

The revue sets songs cut from Stephen Sondheim's better-known musicals, as well as songs from his then-unproduced musical ‘Saturday Night’ to a dialogue-free plot about the relationship between two lonely New York single people, who are in emotional conflict during an evening in their separate one-room apartments. They move around each other, never interacting but always maintaining a close-ness.

Through a series of intimate vignettes and heartfelt musical numbers we follow one evening in their lives where they sing of love, heartbreak and Foxtrots!

Shelley Rivers plays the female role.  Unfortunately the accompanying piano was often too loud which meant during the softer moments Shelley’s beautiful voice was lost, however in the larger songs her belting ability shines. Shelley has some wonderful solo numbers - ‘Can That Boy Foxtrot’ being a standout, performed brilliantly.

The male part is played by Markus Sodergren who is outstanding here. His voice was made to sing these songs and he brings the perfect amount of emotion to the role. His rendition of ‘Bring on the Girls’ is packed with hilarious physicality and is a joy to watch from start to finish.

Director Robert McWhir has done wonderfully with the small space, utilising every corner to it’s full potential. The moments where they almost dance around each other are wonderful and clever.

While the performances of Rivers and Sodergren are undeniably compelling, "Marry Me A Little" falls short in fully engaging the audience with its narrative. The storyline, though poignant in its exploration of loneliness and longing, lacks the depth and complexity needed to fully captivate the audience and the overpowering piano means some of the more intimate moments hold less impact. Though it is a delight to hear some of Stephen Sondheim's lesser-known songs so this is a must see for any Sondheim fans!

This show was reviewed on the 1st March 2024 at the Stage Door Theatre where it runs until the 13th April 2024.  Tickets available here: Stage Door Theatre – A new theatre in Covent Garden

Review written by Rosie Browne


Photo credit: Peter Davies

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