last year's crack dream.) Merrily, like Pinter's Betrayal, is famous as "the one that takes place in reverse." At a California beach house in 1976, we meet Frank (Mark Umbers,) a hugely successful composer of musicals and movie scores. The financial success can't disguise the personal failure though - his second marriage is on the rocks thanks to an affair with the star of his new film (Zizi Strallen - I would say I've now got a full set of Strallen sisters seen on stage, but I've heard there's further models in production) and his wife's going to react in the strongest way to the betrayal.
A quieter breakup, but more important to the story we're about to see, is the final breakdown of relations between Frank and his long-term friend Mary (Jenna Russell,) a mousy, overweight novelist easily forgotten among the Hollywood starlets. But Mary's been a constant support in his life for nearly twenty years together with Charley (Damian Humbley,) his former long-term lyricist, whose relationship with Frank already ended sourly three years earlier.
Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, is booking until the 23rd of February at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Running time: 2 hours 45 minutes including interval.