Book NewsGender-Swapped Company Script Will Be Published in 2019The substantially revised script includes new lyrics from Stephen Sondheim and a female protagonist.
December 20, 2018
British publisher Nick Hern Books will publish the newly revised libretto to George Furth and Stephen Sondheim's Company. The new release, due to drop in the U.K. January 10, 2019, is a tie-in edition with the current West End revival and will reflect that production's substantial revisions, including several gender-swapped characters and a number of new lyrics from Sondheim. The printing will also feature color production photos from the London revival and an introduction by Sondheim biographer David Benedict.
To pre-order the revised script, click here. Though the release is currently slated only for the U.K., international shipping is available.
The London production, which opened to positive reviews October 17 at the Gielgud Theatre, is helmed by War Horse and Curious Incident director Marianne Elliott, who led re-imagining the 1970 musical around a female star for the first time. Where the original Broadway production starred Dean Jones as 35-year-old bachelor Bobby, Rosalie Craig now stars in the West End production as Bobbie. The newlywed couple Amy and Paul has become a gay couple with Amy becoming Jamie, while Bobby's three girlfriends are now Bobbie's boyfriends. Broadway star and Tony winner Patti LuPone co-stars as the "Ladies Who Lunch"-singing Joanne.
Elliott has also shifted other scenes in the work without changing characters' names or genders. In scenes involving divorcing couple Susan and Peter as well as pot-smoking couple Jenny and David, the dialogue of each married couple has been swapped.
Sondheim has made edits to his lyrics to accommodate Elliott's gender swaps, throwing in a handful of additional updates as well. This new edition of the script is the first time these edits will appear in print.
This new release will be the third version of Company's script to be see publication. Furth and Sondheim's original libretto was published soon after the work's Best Musical Tony-winning Broadway debut in 1970, while a 1996 publication offered an amalgam of the less-substantial revisions made for a 1995 Broadway revival and Sam Mendes' 1996 Donmar Warehouse production in London. The latter publication became the primary licensed version of the show for stock and amateur companies, and was used in both the 2006 John Doyle-helmed Broadway revival starring Raúl Esparza and Lonny Price's 2011 Lincoln Center concert staging.