Trip to Sweeney Todd

The production of this dark tale at Chichester Festival Theatre was fantastic. The scenery was stunning but simple with a circular gallery filled with gaping windows that evoked Victorian working-class London.

Michael Ball ‘quick and quiet and clean e’ was’ and quite unrecognisable as Todd, pale, dark eyes with greasy hair, until he sang and in his loud voice he then glared round at the audience and declared ‘We all deserve to die’. It was a quite mesmerising performance.

His pie making accomplice, Mrs Lovatt, (Imelda Staunton) so lustful and in love with him, was both comic and evil, with a very good voice. The music as you would expect from Sondheim was memorable with one of the best pieces being a wickedly funny number, A Little Priest, sung by Staunton and Ball. They turned it into a competitive game in which each other tries to outwit the other. Staunton finally challenging him to match her in rhyme (and crime) and comes up with “locksmith”.

All in all it was a great evening and the show well recommended by all.

Sue Fortescue, October 2011

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