Based on Ingmar Bergman’s film Smiles Of A Summer Night, A Little Night Music is set in turn-of-the-century Sweden where affairs of the heart are uppermost in everyone’s thoughts. The story centres on the passionate love affairs of four couples over a midsummer weekend.
Hailed as a sophisticated celebration of romantic love and a fairy tale for adults, A Little Night Music is set to a score in waltz time by Stephen Sondheim, featuring the popular song Send In The Clowns.
A Little Night Music was a Tony Award-winning success when it premiered on Broadway in 1973. It was produced in London two years later and has twice been revived; the 1995 production at the National Theatre starred Judi Dench in her Laurence Olivier Award-winning performance as Desiree.
This time around, former Spamalot star Hannah Waddingham takes on that role, in a cast that also comprises Maureen Lipman (Oklahoma!, Glorious), Alexander Hanson (The Sound Of Music, Marguerite) and I’d Do Anything runner-up Jessie Buckley.
This production of A Little Night Music, which has already had a successful run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, is directed by Trevor Nunn, the former Artistic Director of the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. Although a hugely experienced director of both musicals and drama, Nunn has never previously directed a Sondheim musical.
American composer Sondheim is acknowledged as one of the world’s most influential musical theatre composers with an extensive back catalogue of work that includes Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Follies and Company.
A Little Night Music is the second Sondheim piece to be revived by the Menier Chocolate Factory. The Southwark venue previously produced Sunday In The Park With George, which went on to become a Laurence Olivier Award-winning success.
For more information about A Little Night Music, read our First Night Feature from the show’s run at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Looking to see some musical theatre? Find out more about London musicals.