Sweeney Todd is chilling and dark from start to finish, opening with menacing organ music. The audience are transported to a sinister part of London where the people are corrupt and the streets are filthy.
This show is a complete contrast to past productions by Sounds Musical Theatre Company but they managed to successfully transform themselves into grimy street creatures, proving their accomplished acting talents.
A wall of powerful sound erupted from the performers, in the opening vocal section. Many of the songs are rhythmic and wordy. The cast enunciated clearly and sang with precision.
We meet Sweeney Todd (Marcus Alleyne) as he steps off a boat with Antony (Stacey Goff). Antony is excited about exploring London but Sweeney is disillusioned and bitter. Marcus’ slow and calculated movements gave insight into the character of Sweeney Todd.
Susan Parish played the beggar woman. She cleverly performed the vocals to sounds like the wails of a desperate woman. She drifted about the stage in many scenes, almost unseen. She seemed like a bad omen who was always there without the audience knowing why, observing the lives of the other characters just as we were.
Mrs Lovett (Diane Hooper) had a lightness in her character despite her horrifying yet entrepreneurial suggestion to put people in her pies. She takes in an orphaned boy called Toby, played by Kate Carmichael. Kate arguably had the hardest job, since she had to portray a young boy. She showed her talent by transforming into a sweet voiced, cheeky London lad.
Sweeney Todd is a curious musical due to the darkness of the tale. I felt slightly guilty, having enjoyed watching such a morbid story unfold. Try something different with Sounds Musical Theatre Company’s production of Sweeney Todd.