Concept Players present A Little Night Music

Music & Lyrics By Stephen Sondheim
Book By Hugh Wheeler

Anne and Henrik - also known as Sarah and JamesWhen we did Company in 2010, we thought that we couldn't get more excited by Sondheim's music (mind, that's what we said that about Sweeney Todd too) but this show has it all. It has the humour and the pathos, the fast and the slow, the music and the words - oh, those words! None of it overdone and it is above all, a grown-up musical that confronts the absurdities of life and love. 

This was a fun show which we took to Penarth and then to  Abergavenny. Based on an Ingmar Bergman film Smiles Of A Summer Night, this is a very funny show most famous for the lovely ballad Send In The Clowns.

The act one set was styled around an Edwardian apartment in Sweden that was highly stylised in the Charles Rennie Mackintosh style complete with Glasgow roses (the director loves Glasgow and had just been to the Commonwealth Games). Designed and built by the Company it was the perfect interior setting which was completely changed in the second act when the action was set in the flower strewn Armfeldt family chateaux's garden. Changing the dining scene to be one of after-dinner repartee meant that throughout the show there was flow and pace and only two scene changes. By updating from the late Victorian period into the Edwardian era we got away with changing Henrik's cello playing with the playing of his suitable mournful signature tune on a gramophone which worked brilliantly.Frederik and Petra happy anout A Weekend In The Country but Anne, not so much

The cast were headed up by Paul and Sarah as the ill matched husband and wife of the Egerman family where the son, Henrik, was played with suitable pathos and great comic timing by James Rockey. Paul was in fine voice and he wrung every ounce of comedy out of the part. Sarah was feisty as the innocent, bubblehead, Anne. The household was served by the voluptuous Petra, played by Hayley, who stopped the show with her rendition of The Miller's Son. The protagonist of the piece, Desiree Armfeldt was played with wonderful poise by Ellie whilst her enchanting precocious daughter, Frederika, was played by Tia in her first stage role. Desiree's indomitable mother was portrayed by Janet in a suitable wig - she was not to be messed with. Janet also was our resident hairdresser, backcombing all the ladies hair to Edwardian coiffures which defied gravity and saved a fortune on wigs. James was the stoic butler who got the maid in the end. The final romantic part of the triangle was played by the Count Malcolms, Simon as Carl-Magnus and Lorna as the acerbic Charlotte. The stand off between Count Malcolm and Frederick in Desiree's digs and the hiccupping Countess in the second act were comedy gold. Special mention as well for Sarah and Lorna's duet of Every Day a Little Death, perhaps one of Sondheim's most poignant lyrics. That just leaves the Leibersingers, a Greek-chorus which pops up all over the shop, singing. Claire, Cat and Linda with the support of Mark and Nigel did a brilliant job of appearing and disappearing, adding a somewhat surreal commentary on events. After dinner second act in the garden

The cast were costumed by the company and Fiona's dress making skills again ensured that the whole effect was one of glamour and class. The cast were ably supported backstage by Fiona, Roger and Andy whilst out front Laura did her usual magic with microphones and Ruairidh on the lights. This was Ruairidh's third Sondheim production, Company and Sweeney Todd coming before (though he was also in Forum) and he stamped his style to this difficult musical well. The musical direction was by our resident MD Dave who got the very best out of us and this tricky score. This production was given a 2015 Nomination in the Wales and Ireland NODA Award District 4 Best Production and Best Stage Technical categories as well as Ellie getting Best Individual Performance nomination. We went on to win Best Production and Best Individual Performance which was fantastic.

The feedback from our audience was wonderful, always a special mention for Send In The Clowns, but the most common comment was " I didn't know Sondheim was that funny!", well there you go - can't get better than surprising and delighting your patrons.


Rockey as the tortured Henrik

Some Leibersingers!

The Egerman's

The pompous Count Malcolm

Tia Peachy as Fredrika

More Leibersingers