Sondheim musical with a very personal touch at Sharnbrook

Rehearsals for the 'hummable' Merrily We Roll Along
Rehearsals for the 'hummable' Merrily We Roll Along

A Stephen Sondheim musical thought to be closest to his own life story is being performed at the Sharnbrook Mill Theatre from June 8 to 13.

Sondheim, the composer and lyricist of musicals including Sweeney Todd, Follies and Into the Woods, turned 85 this year.

But the show that arguably tells his own tale most clearly is Merrily We Roll Along which the Sharnbrook Mill Theatre Trust is presenting from June 8 to 13.

The musical begins in the 1970s and moves backwards to the late 1950s. The story traces the lives of wealthy, jaded composer Franklin Shepard and his two estranged friends, through each milestone of their personal and professional lives – good and bad.

Frank has an unconventional songwriting style in an uncompromising business and spends his career balancing an insatiable desire for success with not taking for granted the relationships and people who have made it all possible.

An Olivier Award Winner for Best Musical Revival in 2014, Merrily We Roll Along was first performed in 1974.

Theatre trust spokeswoman Alexandra Goodbody said: “It is warm and poignant, clever and witty, performed through very ‘hummable’ tunes. It is a compelling Broadway fable about friendship, compromise and the high price of success.”

Tickets, from £11, are available from www.sharnbrook, Old Town Hall, St Paul’s Square, Bedford or by calling 01234 718 004.