The West-End production of SWEENEY TODD, starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, opened last night, March 20, at the Adelphi Theatre, following its sell-out success at the Chichester Festival Theatre. We've collected together all the reviews for your enjoyment.
Widely acknowledged as Stephen Sondheim's musical masterpiece, Sweeney Todd stars distinguished musical performer Michael Ball as the eponymous demon barber of Fleet Street and Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton as the devoted Mrs Lovett.
Combining a brutal sensibility with elements of English music hall, the production offers a fascinating portrait of a man driven to madness by injustice.
Sweeney Todd is directed by Jonathan Kent, designed by Anthony Ward and choreographed by Denni Sayers with lighting design by Mark Henderson. The Musical Director is Nicholas Skilbeck, with orchestration by Jonathan Tunick and sound design by Paul Groothuis.
The cast includes: John Bowe, Peter Polycarpou, Robert Burt, Gillian Kirkpatrick, Lucy May Barker, Luke Brady, James McConville, and Simeon Truby. The ensemble includes: Valda Aviks, Will Barratt, Josie Benson, Emily Bull, John Coates, Daniel Graham, Robine Landi, Tim Morgan, Aoife Nally, Adam Pearce, Wendy Somerville, Kerry Washington and Annabelle Williams.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Quentin Letts, DailyMail.co.uk: "I left the Adelphi impressed but sickened. Sweeney Todd is a dark night. Imelda Staunton deploys all her comic talent as Mrs Lovett to try to alleviate the tale’s grisliness. It does not matter that her voice pinks and rattles like an Italian moped engine. Every time her sparrow frame steps on stage, the pace quickens. This is no bad thing, for musical director Nicholas Skilbeck does not rush Sondheim’s schematic score."
Michael Billington, Guardian.co.uk: "Jonathan Kent's production, which has now transferred from Chichester, and which leaves me grasping for superlatives, has given the piece a fresh look without destroying its essential fabric. [...] Staunton not only gives the evening its comic counterpoint, but confirms her great gift for discovering the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary."