Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 Swedish film and written largely in waltz time, A Little Night Music concerns the tangled romantic lives of several couples in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century. The score includes the Grammy Award-winning ballad “Send in the Clowns”.
The principal cast includes I’d Do Anything contestant Jessie Buckley as the naïve teenager Anne, alongside Hannah Waddingham and Alexander Hanson as Desiree and Fredrik, and Maureen Lipman as Madame Armfeldt.
Overnight and weekend reviewers gave Nunn a much easier time than they did at the New London back in April (See Review Round-Up, 23 Apr 2008), celebrating his “exquisite” revival and apt choice of venue – the small Chocolate Factory stage befitting Sondheim’s “intimate ode”. The performances were generally praised, particularly Waddingham (described by one critic as “the Joanna Lumley of music theatre”) and Hanson as the elicit lovers, and Lipman’s “standout” turn as Madame Armfeldt. Jessie Buckley’s Anne didn’t fare quite so well, with Kate Bassett of the Independent on Sunday deeming her a “tiresome little featherbrain”.
- by Theo Bosanquet