When i was invited to preview Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi theatre, I had to say I was a fair bit more than excited! As a big Sondheim fan and a lover of all things West End, I was looking forward to seeing this tale of murder and deceit.
The show tells the tale of Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and his misdemeanors with his sidekick, Mrs Lovett – who owns a pie shop. The rest is history.
The set of the show is impressive. It must have been a difficult piece of set to design in order to give good viewpoints to most of the audience, and the designer succeeded. We were half way back in the circle and had a perfect view of all the action. The set is far from extravagant I would say, and does leave a certain amount to imagination- but it worked perfectly.
Michael Ball as Sweeney was absolutely terrifying. We all know his voice is fantastic and he has impressed me in most other shows he has been in, but Sweeney as a role seemed to be so unlike anything previous. His presence in the show was almost haunting and he expressed the character’s frustrations perfectly. His sidekick, Mrs Lovett, played by the fabulous Imelda Staunton, was a direct contrast to Michael Ball as Sweeney. Imelda played the character with a little more comedy than I would have expected, but it worked 100% perfectly. The two of them had such perfect chemistry and were a joy to watch.
Other highlights for me, cast wise, were Lucy May Barker as Joanna, whose voice was an absolute pleasure to listen to. John Bowe and peter Polycarpou as Judge Turpin and Beadle Bamford respectively played the devilish duo perfectly with the right amount of arrogance and disregard for anything other than themselves. The show also had a fantastic supporting cast, all of whom worked flawlessly to make this production the success the West End knows it will be.
Sweeney Todd is Currently Playing at the Adelphi Theatre on the Strand, London