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Evans Stars in Sondheim's Company in Sheffield

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Following the recent cascade of Stephen Sondheim revivals in honour of the composer’s 80th year, another major production has just been announced for Christmas 2011, when Daniel Evans, artistic director of Sheffield Theatres and Sondheim veteran, will star as Bobby in a new revival of Sondheim's 1970 Broadway classic Company.

The production will be directed by Jonathan Munby and designed by Christopher Oram, and will run at the Crucible Theatre over the 2011 Christmas season, though exact dates have yet to be confirmed. 

Company, which has a book by George Furth, centres on the exploits of Robert (Bobby), a 35-year-old bachelor living in New York. When his (mostly married) friends throw a surprise party for him in his apartment, it sparks a series of vignettes examining the pros and cons of marriage, each featuring one of the couples and Robert. The score includes “Marry Me a Little”, “Being Alive”, “Side by Side” and “You Could Drive a Person Crazy”.

Having established himself as a classical actor at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, Daniel Evans first broke into musicals ten years ago playing the title role in John Caird’s NT production of Candide. He was nominated for an Olivier for Candide and later went on to win Best Actor in a Musical twice over for other Sondheim musicals: in 2001 for Merrily We Roll Along (for which he also won a Whatsonstage.com Award), and in 2007 for Sunday in the Park with George (for which he was also Tony nominated when it transferred to Broadway, following initial runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End).

Evans will be reprising his Merrily We Roll Along performance in a one-off concert at the West End's Queen's Theatre on 31 October 2010, as part of the Donmar's Sondheim at 80 celebrations. His other Sondheim credits include Sweeney Todd at the Royal Festival Hall and this summer's Sondheim prom at the Royal Albert Hall.

The actor-turned-director told the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye: “The first Sondheim song I sang was ‘Being Alive’, from Company, during my second year at Guildhall and soon after I saw Assassins and was hooked. But I’ve always had my eye on playing Bobby.”

Though Evans reopened the Crucible, and launched his programme as artistic director, by directing a production of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People starring Antony Sher this past February, he has not yet appeared on stage at the theatre since he took over.


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