If on Sunday John Doyle wins the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for a second year in a row, it should increase the West End transfer potential of Company, the Stephen Sondheim classic for which he’s nominated this time around (See News, 15 May 2007). Last year, he scooped the prize for his revival of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which landed on Broadway via Newbury’s Watermill Theatre and the West End. His Company revival – also up for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for American Raul Esparza - originated Stateside but employs the same small-scale, actor-musician technique that has become Doyle’s trademark. It’s also produced there by Brits at the Ambassador Theatre Group who, as West End theatre owners as well as producers, are clearly well placed to make things happen for a transatlantic trip.
Meanwhile, back at the Watermill, where Doyle perfected that trademark actor-musician technique over many years and many productions, the director is due to return in spring 2008 to tackle yet another Sondheim classic in a similar way - Merrily We Roll Along, the maestro’s famously backward-moving 1981 musical.