NangOrBrass was fortunate enough to attend the press performance of The Musical, ‘Sweeney Todd’ last night at the Adelphi Theatre in the Strand.
Michael Ball’s performance as Sweeney Todd was almost forgettable but not for his lack of trying. He was was upstaged, outperformed and theatrically outclassed by Imelda Staunton, who played Todd’s bloodthirsty sidekick Mrs Lovett.
But for Staunton’s endeavour to lighten the performance by deploying all of her comic talent, Sweeney Todd is a dark night. Audiences are warned that it is a somewhat morbid affair from beginning to end, as Todd returns to London to revenge his wife and kill Judge Turpin, who raped her.
The set is grey, dreary and foggy and Stephen Sondheim’s bloodthirsty musical delivers the sordid details of London in 1765. Although there is no attempt to glorify murder, instead reveal the accuracies of sex, violence and death in those times.
Subjectively, Sweeney Todd provokes you to slump into the crevasse of your chair and squeal, rather than force you to the edge of your seat – But if you take it for what it is, a bloodthirsty tale of murderous revenge of a twisted barber then it is executed as brilliantly as the victims in it.
8/10 on the nangometer – Go see it!