Sweeney Todd

Date 28th October 2017
Society Worthing Musical Theatre Company
Venue Sealight Theatre, Worthing
Type of Production Play
Director Linda Robinson

Report

Author: Jose Harrison

 

A dark and gloomy looking stage was the setting for the start of this play. Director Linda Robinson’s minimalistic approach to the staging worked extremely well using as she did 3 inch high walls to create the four locations required by this story.  Her talents extended to the lighting which was excellent. The Barber’s chair was incredibly clever taking us all by surprise when the first victim was ‘whisked off stage in a flash’. Add to this some very appropriate props and some cut throat razors which were put to good use on a number of occasions and costumes depicting the era to perfection and you have the setting for a really good production.

Simon Vyvyan played the title role of Sweeney Todd with enough menace to make it realistic but still with the pathos that makes you understand why the character behaved in such a degenerate way. He was suitably anguished showing much darkness in his portrayal and his voice was one that stood out with its depth and gruffness. Jo Baxter was excellent as Mrs Lovett affirming her skills as an actress. She gave us all the different traits of a woman, the deviousness, the motherly feelings towards Tobias, the need to use the people Sweeney murdered in her pies, it was all there. I thought she’d got the essence of the character well. Josh Beuzeval turned in a very good performance as Tobias - in fact quite a remarkable effort considering his age.  Every minute he was on stage, he was playing the character.   It didn’t slip once and I was fascinated to watch him, even when he was not the feature of the action.  Emma Millard played Johanna with grace, style and total conviction. She had heard that Mark Ingestrie was back and would go to any lengths to find him.  Jamie Griffiths gave a confident performance as Mark, always in character and focussed on the action. Jamie seemed very at home on the stage, and in this role as a man looking for the love of his life, Joanna.  The relationship between him and Johanna was really believable. I really enjoyed Martin Hoskins as Dr Aminadab Lupin who gave us a really sinister performance, his voice was menacing and he acted extremely well building his whole performance up to the rape scene. The performances from the other two performers, Katie Berry and David Morgan were strong so all in all this was a very good production of what is a very difficult show to stage.