Sweeney Todd

Date 30th October 2018
Society The Burton Musical Theatre Company
Venue De Ferres Academy
Type of Production Musical
Director Oly Wright
Musical Director David Blackwell
Producer Samantha Walker

Report

Author: Alan Bruce

BMTC's latest offering Stephen Sondheim's dark musical thriller Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, was a bit of a triumph it has to be said.

Director Oly Wright and Producer Samantha Walker have a done a sterling job of bringing this edgy musical to the stage. The very clever two level set layout, worked particularly well taking the audience into the depths of this grizzly story of revenge, the barber's chair switching to being a shute to the pie bakery was superbly done, lighting was excellent.

Andrew Last as Sweeney Todd bought all the gravitas and mellow dramatic pathos to the role of a tortured soul, exiled for fifteen years from his beloved Lucy, so cruelly wronged by the covertus corrupt Judge Turpin, Mark Hargreaves and his belligerent henchman the Beadle, Tony Lawton.

His obsessive revenge plot is aided and abetted by Mrs. Lovatt, Sharon Plummer, carrying a torch for him from long ago, she recognises the returning man, provides him with premises above her pie shop and the means of his revenge in the shape of the very shaving kit he once used in happier times. Duplicitous in her raison d'etra, hiding a dark secret, hoping for a better life by the seaside, away from Fleet Street and London. Excellent casting throughout the show.

Very much an ensemble piece, the supporting cast all told the story well, similarly to the company, when used, were really effective, visually memorable was the syncopated staccato head movement in the smoke, they worked hard to achieve a real simpatico and cohesive performance

Musical Director David Blackwell's musicians as usual performed to a high standard, together with accompanist Karen Thompson their dramatic organ sound opening heralded the start of this superb show. 'A Little Priest' was one of the stand out songs for me, humorously and beautifully presented.