★★★★★ | Putting It Together, St. James Theatre

The original New York production of “Putting It Together”, a musical revue created by Julia McKenzie and Stephen Sondheim, starred none other than Julie Andrews. This first London staging of the show is much like Ms Andrews’ famous character Mary Poppins: practically, perfect in every way.

If you already love Sondheim then this is a rare treat, with a chance to see a whole host of his songs performed to a stunningly high standard. If you don’t know Sondheim’s work then this is a brilliant way to get to know his style and revel in his wit and panache.

From lovelorn, embittered and angry, through to wistful, longing and hopeful, the song selection covers a huge range of emotions and facets of the terrifying and perplexing thing that is human relations. The cast selection is staggeringly good too. Listening to David Bedella’s voice is like sipping smooth Bourbon, whilst Janie Dee manages to pack pathos, rage and comedy into every word (and what a lot of words some of the numbers contain). Damian Humbley, Daniel Crossley and Caroline Sheen make up the rest of the strong five-person cast and all do more than justice to Sondheim’s numbers with amazing vocal talents, backed by a skilled sextet of musicians.

The show cleverly utilises a diverse range of songs as the audience watch the progress of a couple as they undergo a tempestuous night at a cocktail party. The audience last night certainly loved the show and there was a standing ovation with rapturous applause.

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I can’t recommend this enough. It’s on for a strictly limited 3 week run until the 1st of February

Buy tickets here: http://www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/events/putting-it-together/