THIS lesser-known Sondheim piece, set against a backdrop of Georges Seurat’s iconic painting, transports us from 1884 Paris, where the struggling artist is so selfobsessed that he fails to prevent his muse from leaving for America with his child.

Emma Bryant, in the lead role as Dot, is an actress of rare talent, with a singing voice and looks that set her apart from most performers at this level. Her second-act portrayal of the aged Marie, as the action moves on a century, is acutely observed.

Paddy Cahill (George) isn’t far behind his leading lady with Cerys Weetch (George’s mother), Charlie Child and director Liberty Buckland (as the two Celestes) and Daniella Gambier (Yvonne) equally impressive.

The minimalist set adapts well, making good use of various effects to show the ‘works-in-progress’, with crystal-clear sound and well-choreographed tableaux. Codirector Chinonye Iroegbulem and Alex Fryer (musical director) combine to deliver a stunning show.