Musical romp A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum lights up Derbyshire theatre

One of the funniest musicals ever written will be performed at Derby Theatre.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 5:30 am
Present Company's Craig Arme sings a duet with Alice Rainford (photo: Lee Stephens/lee.stephens@icloud.com)
Present Company's Craig Arme sings a duet with Alice Rainford (photo: Lee Stephens/[email protected])

Present Company will present Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum on October 29 and 30, 2021.

This witty, irreverent farce is a joyous romp through ancient Rome with desperate lovers, scheming neighbours and secrets under every toga.

A canny slave called Pseudolus seeks to gain his freedom as reward for winning the hand of beautiful virgin Philia for his young master, Hero.

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The plot twists and turns with cases of mistaken identity, cross-dressing and scene after scene of double takes and double meanings.

David Partridge, who plays the slave, said: “I always remember seeing the film with Zero Mostel playing Pseudolus and thinking that’s a wonderful role. You’re the lynch-pin of the whole plot, despite the fact that you tell the biggest fibs and cheat everyone in sight."

Craig Arme, cast as Hero, said: "I see Sondheim as a modern day Gilbert (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) for his clever use of words. To me this show is a musical cross between a Carry On film and Monty Python.”

Amanda Bonsall, who plays Philia, said: “This is a fantastic show that really does have something for everyone. The characters are caricatures of themselves, but they link this hilarious show to everyday life. Philia doesn't have a clue what's going on and I can easily relate to her ‘airhead’ qualities."

Performances of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum start at 7.30pm on both nights with a matinee on Saturday, October 30, which begins at 2.30pm.

A gala concert, featuring songs from the heyday of the romantic musical, will be held at Derby Theatre on Thursday, October 28. at 7.30pm.

The evening, entitled My Song Of Love, will feature gems of 1920s musical theatre and is a nostalgic cavalcade of compositions by Sigmund Romberg, Franz Lehar and Rudolph Bentasky. Choice cuts from The Student Prince, The Desert Song, The Merry Widow and White Horse Inn will be included.

Tickets for A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum or My Song Of Love – gala concert cost £18, £16 (concessions) or £14 (groups 10+). Go to www.derbytheatre.co.uk or call 01332 593939.