Theatre Review – Putting It Together

Putting It Together received its West End premiere last week at the St James Theatre with a wonderful cast made up of Janie Dee, David Bedella, Caroline Sheen, Damian Humbley and Daniel Crossley. Unlike other revues, this one tells a story of two couples and their ups, downs and complexities in love.

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The story unfolds at a cocktail party where marriages and relationships that at first seem perfect, are shaken up as many times as drinks are poured. Though the narrative may not be very strong, the weaving of the musical numbers creates a clever new story, by reimagining the context of some of Sondheim’s much-loved musicals and songs.

The thing that stood out most prominently for me was the wit that is consistent throughout; even with the slower, more sombre numbers, there are still moments of cutting commentary and sharp statements. Janie Dee in particular manages to deliver a large dose of this, when she sings both Ladies Who Lunch and Could I Leave You?

I found the second half to be more of a thrill to watch as the bigger numbers come out, the story is less of a concern and instead, it is a chance to watch five wonderful performers get their chance to shine in their element. The show is a musical feast for anyone – and should be a particular delight for anyone who absolutely loves Sondheim. The only downside is that the show is only running for three weeks, so you only have until February 1st to catch it!

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