Hopping for success. Sondheim’s The Frogs crosses the pond to Jermyn Street Theatre

The latest Broadway version of the rarely performed Stephen Sondheim musical, The Frogs, is to get its UK premiere in March at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre.

The Frogs is loosely based on a comedy written in 405 BC by Aristophanes but it has been freely adapted for today by Burt Shevelove, and even more freely adapted by Broadway star Nathan Lane.

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, produced by House on the Hill Productions in association with Jermyn Street Theatre and directed by Grace Wessels, it will premiere at Jermyn Street from March 14.

The Frogs was originally performed in Yale University’s gymnasium’s swimming pool in 1974, featuring members of the Yale swimming team, and, bizarrely, with Meryl Streep and Sigourney Weaver in its ensemble.

This latest version, which opened on Broadway in 2004, includes seven new Sondheim songs.

From the same writers behind A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, The Frogs, playfully explores the great challenges of human existence: confronting our fears, understanding life and death, and challenging the distractions that can prevent us from achieving our goals.

This boisterously hilarious musical follows Dionysos, Greek god of wine and drama, and his slave Xanthias, on a journey to Hades to collect playwright George Bernard Shaw so that he may enlighten the easily misled and coerced masses of Earth.

Along the way they meet Herakles, Charon, Pluto, and of course, the chorus of frogs. Then, Shakespeare shows up and starts declaiming his greatest hits; and before long he engages in a battle of words with Shaw.

The Frogs runs at Jermyn Street Theatre from March 14 – April 8.

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