+3 Interview: Merrily We Roll Along

“This is a classic piece of theatre which deserves to be brought in front of audiences again.”

WHO: Paul Murphie, Producer/Director

WHAT: “Kaufman and Hart’s groundbreaking play sees its first revival in decades, telling the story of Richard Niles, a playwright who seemingly has it all – but what sacrifices has he made for fame? The play travels back in time, beginning in 1934 at the peak of Niles’ success, through the Great Depression and the roaring 20s, while he abandons his principles to fulfil his ambitions. The play that inspired the iconic Sondheim musical, this is a story of friendship, aspiration and betrayal, set in a glittering age of American culture.”

WHERE: theSpace @ Symposium Hall (Venue 43)

WHEN: 13:10 (90 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

This is our first time at the Fringe as Our Time Theatre company. We are a brand new theatre company based in Edinburgh and are super excited to take part in the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe!

Tell us about your show.

Our show is a brand new adaptation of the 1934 play, Merrily We Roll Along, originally written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. We have been working with U.S producer and director, Christopher Hart (who is the son of Moss Hart!), to create this adaptation – and we are extremely excited and proud to be producing the first revival of this play in decades. Many people will be familiar with the 1980s Sondheim musical of the same name, which was based on the original 1934, although with some changes to the characters, storyline and era in which it was set.

We believe this is a classic piece of theatre which deserves to be brought in front of audiences again. It was a groundbreaking play when first released due to the reverse structure in which it is told – as we move forward in the play but backwards in time ,we see snapshots of our protagonist’s life, the important events and decisions that led him to where he is when we first meet him in 1934. This play is truly unique, charming, clever and thought-provoking; a moving story set in the glittering era of 1920s America, packed full of sensational drama as well as sparkling comedy with a poignant message.

We are Our Time Theatre, a new venture with the aim of providing actors with opportunities for creative and professional self-development, through the production and performance of new or lesser known work: which in turn, we want to bring to greater cultural prominence to audiences.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

We are planning to see as many shows as possible during the Fringe and are very excited that we are in Edinburgh for the whole summer. We would recommend that audiences see as much as possible – there are a many great and wonderful (and weird!) things to see! We love the whole atmosphere of the Fringe, and our favourite thing to do is get out the Royal Mile and see what flyers we pick up! One show we will not be missing this year is “It Shoulda Been You” – a musical being put on by our good friends at Room 29 Theatre!


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+3 Interview: Merrily We Roll Along

“The musical score is punchy, lyrical and contains some of Sondheim’s most sparkling narrative writing…”

WHO: Bridget Biggar, Artistic Director

WHAT: “Following last year’s five-star reviews for Sondheim’s Assassins at the Fringe, BB Theatre Productions present a poignant, uplifting musical which explores friendship, ambition and the pressures of showbusiness, capturing the life turning points of three friends. A unique musical, portraying the disintegration of a friendship back through time to youthful confidence and hope. Sondheim’s hummable melodies and Furth’s powerful yet funny script interpreted by a professionally trained cast and live band.”

WHERE: C venues – C (Venue 34) 

WHEN: 12:10 (130 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

We are very excited to return to The Edinburgh Fringe after our inaugural production of Sondheim’s Assassins in 2016. This year we are excited to present another Sondheim classic, Merrily We Roll along. A poignant and uplifting musical, this heart-rending show explores friendship, ambition and the pressures of show business.

Tell us about your show.

Founded in 2015, BPTP’s mission is to bring local talent to the national stage, producing shows with professional production values, a stellar cast and professional band, and this show is no exception. We were thrilled to preview it at The Wilde Theatre, South Hill Park earlier in July. Next year we are planning on moving away from Sondheim – watch this space!

With a very short, intensive rehearsal period, we cast only those who have played leading roles in other productions and are perfectly suited to the role: we make no compromises. The chemistry and creative energy from putting top talent together to work intensively on inspirational yet stretching music theatre produces memorable and electric performances. We also work as a team with the professional musicians rather than adding them as an accompaniment.

Starting at a hedonistic Hollywood showbiz party in 1976 and working its way back to the New York rooftop in 1957, Merrily We Roll Along portrays the story of three friends who we join at the end of their friendship, tussling with disappointment, heartbreak and disillusionment with fame. The story moves back through time, each musical number perfectly scored to reflect the genre of its era and the emotional roller-coaster of its characters.

The musical score is punchy, lyrical and contains some of Sondheim’s most sparkling narrative writing including Our Time and Old Friends. As two of the friends try to make it into show business, we hear some of Sondheim’s own early frustrations with agents not daring to make the break from traditional musicals. The reverse chronology time structure heightens audience emotion, wistfully pointing out the artistic and personal compromises faced by the characters along the way. A must see, both for Sondheim aficionados, but also for anyone with a passion for musical theatre.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

Ordinary Days – it’s one of our favourites and every time we see it, we spot something new! A witty, poignant, and ultimately very relatable story about human connection and finding beauty in unexpected places.

Animalphabet – perfect for everyone with music by the Hoosiers. What’s not to like!!


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