COMPANY – Hills Musical Company

COMPANY – Hills Musical Company

Reviewed by Kerry Cooper

November 2015

Company is a 1970 musical comedy based on a book by George Furth with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Tackling the underbelly of marriage and what it is to be a third wheel amongst your married friends, should result in hilarious banter and relatable songs; however the subject material is nothing we have not heard in any romantic comedy for the past 40 years. 
Set design by Jamie Richards was thought provoking with a definite 70s vibe. Three enormous frames adorned the stage, symbolic of the perfect snap-shot of married life. Many levels kept the actors mobile, as did there exits down to the front row of the audience. The purpose of this was a little ambiguous and provided more distraction than any artistic purpose.
Director Fiona DeLaine has assembled a large cast with varying degrees of vocal ability. Whilst most settled into their characters and had fun with the material, the show itself never reaches fever pitch. 
Josh Barkley as Robert is the centre of this story. His married friends all re-living their single lives vicariously through his lack of nuptials. Stand-out performances were offered by Lauren Renee as Susan who was consistent in her characterisation and Kerry Staight who was hilarious in her portrayal of a ditsy airline stewardess. Strong vocals belonged to James McCluskey-Garcia as Larry, Anthony Vawser as Peter and the already mentioned Lauren Renee. Unfortunately the wonderful music by musical director Mark DeLaine drowned out many vocals, a recurring problem in this theatre.
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