Marry Me a Little
Rating: ★★★
Venue: Stage Door Theatre, London
Cast: Shelley Rivers and Markus Sodergren 

The revue sets songs cut from 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.

Despite knowing of the other’s existence, they never get up the courage to talk to each other, though they imagine what such an encounter might be like.

“Marry Me a Little” starring Shelley Rivers and Markus Sodergren presents an enjoyable theatrical experience with some notable highlights. The production, while not ground-breaking, manages to captivate the audience with its commendable performances and engaging moments. The inaugural production at the brand new Stage Door Theatre, London’s first pop-up pub theatre, is a must see for any Stephen Sondheim fan.

Showcasing cut songs from Sondheim’s shows as well we some numbers from his then un-produced musical ‘Saturday Night’, conceived by Craig Lucas and Norman René, this is a sung though revue which tells the story of two singletons who are aware of each other's existence and spend an evening apart, imagining being together.

Markus Sodergren is marvellous as the male role, showing off an impressive voice and wonderful acting. He has a powerful presence on stage which draws the audience into his world and leaves us wanting more. His characterisation is fantastic; taking us from high comedy to intense emotion.

The female role is portrayed by Shelley Rivers, who although is very talented, due to the volume of the accompanying piano, some of her more soft vocals were lost which is a shame. She brings the power in the bigger numbers though, which certainly made the audience sit up and listen.

The production also benefits from its well-executed staging and direction. The set design of an apartment effectively transports the audience into the world of the characters, enhancing the overall experience. The pacing of the show feels well thought out with seamless transitions between songs.

This is a wonderful hour full of beautiful songs performed wonderfully. It is a must see for any Stephen Sondheim fan as it showcases songs we don’t often get to hear and is a great opportunity to visit this new venue.

You can book tickets to see Marry Me a Little at the Stage Door Theatre, here.

Review by Rosie 

**photos by Peter Davies**

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