I saw Follies at the National Theatre.
I absolutely loved this National Theatre Production of Follies! It is so complex and so clever. This Stephen Sondheim show is nothing but genius.
Follies revolved around the demolishment of a theatre that the ‘Follies’ used to perform in. So there is a reunion party and this is where the complicated love triangle starts with the 2 couples. That is the basic plot outline but it is very complicated. You need to concentrate whilst watching.
This whole show is about nostalgia and regrets. Its quite sad in a way because of the ending (no spoilers). I personally really enjoyed the storyline because you were witnessing the party with them and the lack of interval helped with this. It was the quickest 2 hours! Their younger selves mirrored them in some scenes and in some scenes they watched their older selves which I thought was very clever. In particular the “mirror mirror” number was one of the best numbers I’ve seen ever!
The huge orchestra of 20 sounded incredible playing Sondheim’s beautiful music. You can kind of see them behind a scrim at the back. There is a cast of 41! The whole production is on an epic scale with huge tall sets, a lot of haze and big bright lights. I really enjoyed the design of this show. The costumes were stunning and there was a revolve, which really gave the piece energy . The tall fire escape set piece was on the revolve and pushed the story along.
There are huge dance numbers then they immediately go to intimate delicate scenes which is an accomplishment to the director (Dominic Cooke) and designer( Vicki Mortimer) The direction for this show was brilliant to make the 2 hours fly by.
This show was wonderfully cast in my opinion. It’s quite hard to pick out 1 person out of 41! The acting was quite realistic but it was done in the style that they knew they were putting on a show. It wasn’t over the top but it was very dramatic which I loved.
Highlights for this show for me were: Losing My Mind, Too Many Mornings, Mirror Mirror, The Ghostley opening to the show and The Loveland Sequence.
The Loveland sequence at the end was quite confusing but then after a few minutes I understood it more and thought it was great! The whole show I just loved. You cannot miss this dramatic, intelligent musical!
It is a truly 5* show and is NOT to be missed!
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your opinion on Follies or message me on Instagram @unofficialtheatre !