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Marry Me a Little | Stage Door Theatre

The new Stage Door Theatre, located at the heart of Covent Garden, opens with Stephen Sondheim’s one act musical Marry me a Little, which had previously seen the light of day in 2014 at the St James Theatre studio (now The Other Palace).

Marry Me a Little is a unique musical by Stephen Sondheim comprised of ‘trunk songs’ collected from higher profile shows, such as Follies, Company, and Anyone Can Whistle, and brought together by Craig Lucas and Norman Rene to create a song cycle.

The show imagines two characters, living but a floor away from each other, but never actually ‘meeting,’ instead imagining what they could say to each other if they were to cross paths. Although quite unusual in its format as it has no set characters, just ‘Man’ (performed by Markus Sodergren) and ‘Woman’ (Shelley Rivers), this show has a lot of heartfelt moments translated into song.

The flexibility in the storyline means that it is mostly up to the audience to create their own stories around the characters, allowing for dozens of scenarios to arise at once. As the show is entirely sung through, past productions seemed to have taken liberties with this flexibility, by creating a range of different storylines.

In Robert McWhir’s production, the female character is given an air of optimism and joie-de-vivre about her, whilst the male character in contrast seems all but defeated by his way of life. Under the masterful musical direction by Aaron Clingham, both these characters were performed by a very talented duo who navigated through a complex Sondheim score with such ease, although Rivers’ ‘Can That Boy Foxtrot’ and Sodergren’s ‘Bring On The Girls’ were definitely fun highlights of the show.

The show itself is performed in a typical New York apartment style of décor, with a couch in centre stage being the main object of focus. The set created an intimate atmosphere as the audience are almost feeling immersed into the show.

Overall, with a run-time of only 65 minutes, this show is a good way of discovering a wide range of Sondheim’s songs from classic musicals, whilst also allowing the audience to imagine their own storylines, with the very little information they are given about each character’s unique personality traits.

Marry Me a Little plays at the Stage Door Theatre until April 13th 2024. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Peter Davies.


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