News: Full casting for Company announced – but what does this really mean for a gender-switched production

Full casting for Elliott Harper’s Company announced – but what does this really mean for a gender-switched production. I crunch some numbers…

The full castlist for Marianne Elliott’s revival of Company has now been revealed, Jonathan Bailey’s casting as Jamie a late twist in the tale in a production trading on the interest of its gender-switching. Making Amy Jamie finally has the impact of queering the show as he remains partnered to Paul; but the rest of the show looks like it merely reinforces the heteronormativity of the world in general.
Rosalie Craig as Bobbie (Bobby), 
Patti LuPone as Joanne, 
Mel Giedroyc as Sarah, 
Jonathan Bailey as Jamie (Amy), 
George Blagden as PJ (Marta), 
Ashley Campbell 
as Peter, 
Richard Fleeshman as Andy (April), 
Alex Gaumond as Paul, 
Richard Henders as David, 
Ben Lewis as Larry, 
Daisy Maywood as Susan, 
Jennifer Saayeng as Jenny, 
Matthew Seadon-Young as Theo (Kathy) 
and Gavin Spokes as Harry
Plus Michael Colbourne, Francesca Ellis, Ewan Gillies, Grant Neal, and Jaimie Pruden

Ironically, the gender split of the company is exacerbated the wrong way by the gender switch – not only are there fewer female roles, there’s a smaller proportion than in the original. Add in the chorus and the numbers get even worse!

Named character gender-split
Original – 6 male / 8 female
Revival – 9 male / 5 female

But assuming the songlist is kept the same and no songs are reassigned to other characters, it is interesting to note the impact this has on who now sings the songs (see list below).

Song lead gender-split
Original – 9 male / 5 female / 2 joint
Revival – 6 male / 8 female / 2 joint

Making Craig the lead obviously skews the balance in favour of the women but the pendulum doesn’t swing quite far enough to compensate fully. This is the obvious impact of switching all of the girlfriends and can’t help but disappoint a little, even if I am most excited to hear Bailey’s interpretation of ‘Not Getting Married’. 

Obviously, I’m making some assumptions here about a production that is still months from opening. But I just think it is interesting to parse the potential implications of the decision-making here, beyond just the still undoubtedly thrilling casting of Rosalie Craig as Bobbie.

Act I
“Overture”- Orchestra
“Company” — Rosalie Craig and Company
“The Little Things You Do Together” — Patti LuPone and Couples
“Sorry-Grateful” — Gavin Spokes, Richard Henders and Ben Lewis
“You Could Drive a Person Crazy” — Matthew Seadon-Young, Richard Fleeshman and George Blagden
“Have I Got A Girl for You” — Ben Lewis, Ashley Campbell, Alex Gaumond, Richard Henders, Gavin Spokes
“Someone Is Waiting” — Rosalie Craig
“Another Hundred People” — George Blagden
“Getting Married Today” — Jonathan Bailey, Alex Gaumond, and Company
“Marry Me a Little” — Rosalie Craig

Act II
“Entr’acte” – Orchestra
“Side by Side by Side”/”What Would We Do Without You?” — Rosalie Craig and Couples
“Poor Baby” — Mel Giedroyc, Jennifer Saayeng, Daisy Maywood, Jonathan Bailey, Patti LuPone
“Have I Got A Girl for You” – Ben Lewis, Ashley Campbell, Alex Gaumond, Richard Henders, Gavin Spokes
“Barcelona” — Rosalie Craig and Richard Fleeshman
“The Ladies Who Lunch” — Patti LuPone
“Being Alive” — Rosalie Craig
“Finale Ultimo (Company)” – Rosalie Craig and Company

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