A Little Night Music - 19 May 2001

The moment you entered the theatre it was obvious that all was not harmonious in the lives of the people you had yet to meet. The stage was reminiscent of an ice palace with long white curtains adorned with blue streaks and clear strips hanging over the front. The furniture was mainly white or pale and the floor was mirrored, giving the impression of the coldness, you were not expecting two young lovers to run on passionately declare their love here. The furniture was flown in and out as the scenes swiftly changed before our eyes. The look of the piece was very period but with some touches of the modern. The gleaming silver banquet table lowered from the ceiling was exceptional as were Madame Armfeldt's huge chair and the oversized golden sculpture in the garden. The staging was just fantastic and all the performers rose to the occasion. The costumes were elegant and stunning and complemented the characters perfectly.

The cast was outstanding. Kathryn Evans was excellent, as always, as Desiree, a woman who finds that when she finally decides what she wants and comes to earth her dreams may not be realised and wonders where her life is going. Annalene Beechey as the light headed delightful Anne Egerman, who admits she decided to marry Frederick when she was a little girl as he looked so sad. This revelation to Frederick doesn't break his heart but shows a different side to their unconsumated relationship as Frederick stuck between his lifelong love for Desiree and the charms of his young wife who in a way loves him as a daughter not a husband, Jody Croserier as the morose Hendrik desperate for Anne to love him instead of seeing him as 'comical', Anna nicholas as the cutting countess who proves a worthwhile adversary for Desiree and Garth Bardsley as the blunt Count who learns perhaps the hardest lesson and is the most changed at the end. Ria Jones provided sterling support as Petra as did Jeanette Ranger as the 'scary' haired Madame Armfeldt, Helen Anker as Desiree's daughter Frederika and the supporting cast of 5 who provided the observations and some narrative of the story. Their costumes were wonderful as although white they were streaked with blue which let them blend in with the set.

The Leicester Haymarket has created a real reputation for Sondheim's works and Night music must be rated within on of the top productions

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