John Reynolds

REVIEW: Sweeney Todd at the Royal Court

Last Thursday night The BOST (Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust) had their opening performance of Sweeney Todd and provided us with an unforgettable show filled with horror, comedy and music.

Sweeney Todd tells the story of a barber (formerly known as Benjamin Barker) who returns to London to seek vengeance on Judge Turpin, the man who kidnapped and imprisoned his daughter Johanna many years ago. Meanwhile Todd joins forces with Mrs. Lovett, a baker who bakes the “worst pies in London”, by running his barbers in the upstairs of her shop and in return providing her with the key ingredient for her pies.

Credit: Bruce Hogan/BOST Musicals

This is a show I have always wanted to see be performed live because of its infamous dark, yet surprisingly comic, atmosphere and I was intrigued to see how this would translate to the stage. Without a doubt, my expectations for this show were exceeded. The set designs were brilliant and I was immediately immersed into this world.

The performances in this show were phenomenal, particularly the protagonists Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett, as well as the boy who played Toby. Sweeney had a very menacing presence on stage whereas Mrs Lovett provided the contrast of being lively, and somewhat compassionate towards Toby, in comparison. Judge Turpin was much more despicable than I expected him to be too, which made the story more engaging. The singing was performed excellently and powerfully by every actor and I will admit to tearing up during the song “Johanna.” All of the music was performed live which further demonstrated the diversity of talents within the performance.

Photo credit: Bruce Hogan/BOST Musicals

The story flowed better in the show and felt a lot more entertaining than the film. For example, I was not completely convinced by the film’s portrayal of the Anthony and Johanna’s storyline, but in the show I was really invested because of the actors’ brilliant chemistry and likeable performances. I felt attached to the characters in a way I didn’t expect to.

Sweeney Todd was surprisingly a very powerful and emotional show that I wish ran for longer so I could see it again! I’m very excited to see more of BOST’s performances in the future.

Credit: Bruce Hogan/BOST Musicals

Credit: Bruce Hogan/BOST Musicals

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1 Response

  1. R Reynolds says:

    Great review

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