CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cheshire Life today CLICK HERE

Theatre review - Putting It Together, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

PUBLISHED: 00:00 31 October 2018

The cast of Putting It Together at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester. Picture: Phil Tragen

The cast of Putting It Together at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester. Picture: Phil Tragen

Archant

Christmas comes early here, with a show perfectly suited to the small-scale city venue that has made such a big impression in just three years. Review by David Upton

Imagine a boxed set of some of Stephen Sondheim’s best songs, performed in the box-like setting of the Pollard Street theatre, and you have the simple essence of a show devised by the composer and Julia McKenzie. She appeared in the original London production of his earlier revue, Side By Side By Sondheim.

Putting It Together further celebrates his genius with more than 30 numbers from shows including Company, Follies, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Merrily We Roll Along, Sweeney Todd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, even his little-appreciated contribution to the movie Dick Tracy. They are the ones you either know, or that leave you yearning to make their full acquaintance – soon!

No-one delivers a punchline in rhyme quite like Sondheim, or can twist the emotional knife, in a descant like that of Pretty Women, from Sweeney Todd.

Simbi Akande, Alex Cardall, Andrew Gallo, Gavin James and Lauren James Ray bring a lot of sinew and style to the singing, backed by Michael Webborn’s concerted piano playing.

The first act is scintillating, while the second act gets even better, especially when melodies from a show like Company come into their element in a series of solo party pieces.

The songs are wound around the sexual politics evident when five people attend a Manhattan cocktail party. Seduction, commitment, betrayal and revenge are shaken and stirred into the plot, and thanks to smart direction from Bronagh Lagan and tight choreography from William Whelton, it’s a show that never looks constrained by its confines. Back projections and pinpoint lighting cues add to the sensation of experiencing Manchester’s very own version of an off-Broadway show.

It’s heartening then to see that Hope Mill’s revival of 60s’ counter-culture musical Hair, earlier this year, is now set for a UK tour next year, including performances at the city’s Palace Theatre.

Putting It Together runs until November 24 – and should be considered an early Christmas present!

www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk

More from Out & About

Friday, November 16, 2018

It’s quite easy to bypass Congleton in favour of the nearby Pek District when searching for walking ideas, but you will be missing out on a wide ranging choice of routes.

Read more
Congleton
Friday, November 16, 2018

Former European Capital of Culture Bergen is a tasty destination, just two hours from Liverpool, writes Vijay Arogyasami.

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This month’s walk is an easy ramble through fields around Mobberley, though you will get a noisy reminder of the modern world every few minutes

Read more
Thursday, November 8, 2018

Static caravan ownership numbers in Wales are some of the highest in the UK, we take a look at one of the most acclaimed caravan parks in the country which has become the holiday home destination of choice for the rich and famous.

Read more
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Autumn heralds a time of change for our birds. Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Adam Linnet explains what to look out

Read more
Autumn

Liverpool has always buzzed, even in its darker days, but today it’s booming, and underpinning the resurgence are institutions with roots deep in the Merseyside soil

Read more
Liverpool
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Expect all the luxury and high standards of a 5-star service with the advantages of a personal touch.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


Local Business Directory

Property Search