Musical of the week: Merrily We Roll Along, Harold Pinter Theatre, London SW1


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The Independent Culture

The Menier Chocolate Factory's superlative Sondheim revival is all the more astonishing in that it marks the directing debut of singer/actress Maria Friedman.

This revival lays out the tricky narrative and emotional logic of an anti-clockwise story that follows a male composer/lyricist duo and their female writer friend as they travel backwards in time from a trashy Hollywood drinks party in the 1970s to a New York rooftop in 1957 and a sense of youthful possibility.

Mark Umbers, Jenna Russell and Damian Humbley give performances rich in texture and subtext, and the ace band do electric justice to a mordant, aching score. Thoughtful and thrilling: go.

0844 871 7627, to 27 July