City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Marry me a little (p.165)

By Vivien Devlin - Posted on 14 August 2007

Show details
Running time: 
Carole Ashcroft(), Robert Ashcroft(), Stephen Sondheim (Music and lyrics), Craig Lucas and Norman Rene (Conceived and devised by), Steven Billinger (Musical Director and Pianist ),
Nikki Pocklington (Woman), Wayne Rodgers (Man)

Stephen Sondheim's 1980 Broadway musical Marry me a little is a bittersweet
tale of loneliness and survival as a modern singleton living in New York. A young
man (played by Wayne Rodgers) and a pretty blonde woman (Nikki Pocklington) are
neighbours, living one floor apart, but have never met. The naturalistic set features
their identical apartments, combined as one, with a double bed made up as two
single beds, desk with typewriter, kitchen sink, fridge with food, bottles of
wine and beer.

Nikki Pocklington &
Wayne Rodgers
Theatre Company

The through-sung musical consists of 19 songs - most of them cut from previous
shows, such as Company or Follies, and performed as duets or solo
numbers. The show kicks off with "Saturday night"depicting another lonely
night, cooking another solitary meal, "Saturday night and single, Saturday
night alone, .. reading the Sunday papers," they sing together, alternate
line by line, as the girl tenderises her pork fillet with a mallet and the boy
looks dismally at his single ready-meal. The musical narrative follows their dreams
and fantasies, contemplating why they cannot find the love of their lives.

The colourful songs, rich in typical Sondheim rhymes and complex notation, are
often humorous and deliciously romantic as their mood shifts from happy go lucky
to depressingly sad. They dream of finding a partner - "We'll be together
at Christmas, next year - and always." In boxer shorts and pyjamas, the couple
dance Fred Astaire-style hugging their pillow and teddy bear. The girl sings pleadingly
to her absent lover, "Marry me - a little" she suggests, " keep
your tender distance so we'll be free." The boy then gives his lyrical response
in harsh cynical tone, in "Happily Ever After," where he doesn't want
to have someone to hold and always there. The girl simply imagines a "little
white house, picket fence with a little pink boy and little pink girl" in
her classic, fairy tale, happy ever after world.

Edwards Theatre Company has presented many critically acclaimed, sell-out plays
on the Edinburgh Fringe and this 10th anniversary production is a sure fire hit.
All in all, a couple of very talented 19 year old singers, crisp piano accompaniment
and a rare chance to see this amusing, neatly constructed Sondheim show.

© Vivien Devlin, 6 August, 2007 First published on

Run 6 - 11 August 2007

Theatre Company