Sweeney Todd

Date 18th May 2017
Society Westovian Theatre Society
Venue Pier Pavilion South Shields
Type of Production Play
Director Peter Dawson

Report

Author: Foster Johnson

The Westovian Theatre Company delivered what proved to be an excellent atmospherically and ethereal interpretation of Sweeney Todd. This melodrama about the troubled and disturbed world of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street delivered in all aspects of its production

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Unlike its musical counterpart this show relies purely on the script and you therefore require a dynamic cast to deliver it. We had that. I and the audience alike were not disappointed and were sucked into the sub culture of the underbelly of life in Victorian London

The setting of the play coupled with the clever use of sound and lighting and the sombre background music that permeated the production was again in the hands of the talented Director Peter Dawson and what a fine job he made of it. He goes from strength to strength.

As for the cast themselves they were without fault. David Beston played the troubled and disturbed role of Sweeney Todd to perfection. It can be so easy to overplay the part but he delivered it with just the right balance between sanity and instability. Complementing him Kirsten Walton as Mrs Lovett extracted every ounce out of the character and produced a bravo performance.

The part of the evil Judge Turpin was in the hands of the vastly experienced Eddie McNamee and once again he brought his fine acting ability to the fore to interpret the depravity of his character. The experienced Mary Stephinson was also on hand and played the pivotal role of the Beggar Woman well. In addition Ron Markwick gave a wonderful cameo role as the demented Asylum owner Jonas Fogg

The new and younger members of the company were also not overshadowed and delivered some fine work. David Jackson as the villainous Beadle, Jack Young and Erin Atack as the love interest Anthony Hope and Johanna and Adam Ramsey as the Barber/Dentist Alfredo Pirelli. Last but by no means least I was knocked back by the prodigious talent of Georgina Whale-Spencer in the role of Tobias Ragg the street urchin. Her interpretation of the role was outstanding particularly that when the character becomes deranged at the sights and sounds she eventually discovers towards the end of the Show.