REVIEW: Follies, National Theatre ✭✭✭✭✭

Stephen Sondheim's Follies at National Theatre

Follies National Theatre, 8th September 2017 5 Stars Book Follies Tickets Folly is an interesting concept: it has fascinated the western mind all the way from Erasmus of Rotterdam’s philosphical contemplation, through the artificial landscaping constructions that adorn the estates of Stowe and Stourhead, Ermenonville and Versailles, to the variety entertainments of late 19th century Paris, and into the area which principally concerns this epic musical divertissement based upon the idea: the expensive and spectacular early 20th century Broadway revues of Florenz Ziegfeld. Oddly, a lot of time seems to have been spent worrying about whether this show, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book – or at least ‘scenes’ – by James Goldman, is ‘really’ a musical or just some kind of astonishing hybrid failure: its original producer Harold Prince dubbed it a ‘long-running flop’.  While these practical questions have merit, they detract from the actual … Read more

Top 100 Greatest Musicals Poll – Number 9 – Sweeney Todd

Sweeny Todd - 9th Greatest musical of all time

Attend The Tale to find out how a Victorian penny dreadful became the subject of a play by Christopher Bond which caught the eye of one Stephen Sondheim. Taken with the tale of revenge on a grand and gruesome scale Sondheim started work on what would become the 1979 musical thriller Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd was directed by Harold Prince and would follow their ground-breaking work on Company (1970), Follies (1971) A Little Night Music (1973) and Pacific Overtures (1976). Returning to London after 15 years of exile, a revenge-driven Sweeney is out for blood. Judge Turpin stole his wife, his daughter and destroyed his life. Sweeney teams up with Mrs Lovett, who has a serious problem – she is in need of a supply of fresh meat for her … Read more

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