National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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Sweeney Todd


4th May 2018


Adlington Music and Arts


Adlington Community Centre

Type of Production



Christian Brabin

Musical Director

Dave Dossett


Author: Liz Hume-Dawson


Sweeney Todd is billed as a tale of Murder, Madness and Meat Pies, a black operetta by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. This Victorian melodrama and London Urban Legend weaved into a Musical Thriller about the Demon Barber who is both victim and perpetrator. Adlington certainly embraced this and produced a spectacular show that carried the audience through this macabre myth.

The Director Christian Brabin certainly knew what he wanted out of the production and it was evident that every aspect was well thought out down to the last minor detail. Pictures created with the Greek style chorus were wonderful and every member gave their all, taking on multiple roles and moving the fantastic set about whilst in character, somehow giving it a sharper & pacier feel. I loved the different levels and the use of the depth of the stage by the cast. Lighting and sound also enhanced the set and ensemble, particularly the shafts and the Victorian-style foot-lights used at key times during songs.

Sondheim is difficult melodically and Musical Director Dave Dossett had certainly worked the cast to within an inch of their lives, coupled with the orchestra they worked their magic.

The casting was spot on and I would love to mention everyone as it was truly an ensemble piece, from Main Cast through to Chorus.

Sweeney Todd played by Mike Wignall and Mrs Lovett played by Joy Plowes took us on the journey of their unsavoury-but-likeable  characters with witty and often sinister songs. In a show potentially so dark, how important it is to shed as many glimmers of light as possible in order to restore balance and maximise entertainment.

Judge Turpin played by John Matthias has the unenviable task of playing the distasteful role, hard to watch declaring lust for his ward, but captivating nevertheless. To do that with an unlikeable character is no mean feat.

Adolfo Pirelli played by Zack Thornton added light relief with style and panache, demonstrating not only an enviable vocal range but also a convincing dual nationality.

Credit to Costume and Make-Up for adding to the authenticity of the piece.

I have to say as the end of the show came and the last thing was Sweeney Todd with blade held high, backlit I just said WOW!!!

Well done cast and crew and I am so glad I got to see this show.

PS: can I just ask - what was in those interval pies – my husband thought they were delicious!