A bawdy, fast-paced, raunchy comedy musical from one of the world’s most influential and innovative creators of musical theatre, loosely based on the plays of Plautus.
Pseudolus, a simpering slave, is trying to win his own freedom by cooking up a romance for his master’s son, Hero, with the pretty young virgin Philia. But there’s a problem – not only is Philia owned by Marcus Lycus, an infamous courtesan dealer, but she’s also already promised to swaggering soldier Miles Gloriosus… and neither of them are keen to give her up.
Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, with a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, ran for three years on Broadway. The first British production, starring Frankie Howerd as the cowardly slave Pseudolus, ran almost as long and spawned the TV series Up Pompeii!
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum won the 1962 Tony Award for Best Musical.
‘The funniest, bawdiest and most enchanting musical that Plautus, with a little help from Stephen Sondheim, Burt Shevelove and Lary Belbart, ever wrote’
— New York Times
‘Spectacularly generous when it comes to the gags… one of the most exuberant opening numbers ever penned… The comic plot never stops boiling in a show that creates mounting farcical mayhem with rare precision… a brilliantly crafted hit… preposterously enjoyable’
— Daily Telegraph
‘A brilliant synthesis of stock characters from Plautus… a vertiginously funny show’
‘Simply irresistible… blissfully hilarious… a glorious gag-fest… A delirium of good, clean, filthy fun… a cornucopia of delight’
— The Times
‘Delightful… just sit back and enjoy it’
— Financial Times
Best Musical, Tony Awards