YASMIN SIMSEK 

"I chose this life, I chose this band, I choose to be here with you, I choose to drink when I’m at work – my choice” says the character of Joanne in the musical Company. The classic musical from 1970 by Stephen Sondheim has been adapted to modern day by Broderick Chow, lecturer in Theatre at Brunel. This production is performed by third year theatre students’ final performance in Musical Theatre. And if it was up to me they should all have A’s!

Filled with laughter, ‘American’ accents and beautiful singing, it tells the story of single Robert on his 35th birthday. A life full of married friends and prospective partners, who are all worried about his status and tries to make him realise that he needs someone to take care of. Making a contemporary version has added both humour and stronger characters, e.g. in the form of confident Joanne, who despite having some alcohol issues, chose that life. Also, in this updated version, Paul is now Polly" or "a particularly strong character is Polly, who was 'Paul' in the original. Theatre student Alex Oram says about the show: “The acting skills are absolutely incredible – in general in the Theatre department. The show blew me away, being funny, entertaining and with a fantastic vocal range.”

Company was overall fantastic and was well adapted, not only to the time, but especially to the cast differences and abilities. It had a beautiful balance between solo and ensemble numbers and already at the very beginning, when they were singing happy birthday to Robert, I was thinking: Never have that song sounded better!