As any musical theatre fan will know, Sweeney Todd is not your average musical, nor is it an easy singalong, which made the kid's production all the more thrilling (I say 'kids' - mostly late teens/early twenties). When you know the score as well as I do it's easy to tense up, and to lack faith in the cast; ooh there's a hard bit coming up, are they going to get it right? Oh god this song is FAST, can they do it? That sort of thing.
|Lizzie Wofford as Mrs Lovett during 'A Little Priest' - singing|
and beating 'pie mix' (Play-Doh) in time to the syncopated music?
No, not easy.
Matt Nalton as Sweeney, my friend and I agreed (same friend of 'I love you David!' fame in my first post), was a little lacklustre. Again, another gorgeous voice, but he was not a psychopath... and by the end Sweeney IS a total psycho. He's willing to kill everyone and anyone, something Nalton didn't really get across; there are several moments when Sweeney cracks, and behind the calm, calculating exterior, we see a terrifying madman - Nalton had a chance to really go for it, to scream his lungs out, but, alas, he left us wanting more. In a bad way. Still, in the calmer, quieter moments, his Sweeney hit all the right notes.
Ah, it seems so harsh to have to pick out names, they were all so good! Tom Milligan as Anthony; Steffani Nash as the Beggar Woman; Stewart Clarke as Pirelli; all fabulous, all characterisations that were at the same time believable, and also the caricatures Sondheim paints in his lyrics.
A word must also go out to the director, Martin Constantine. The cast only had a small stage to work with, but boy, they worked it. Of course, musical director Jeremy Walker must also get a mention, as well as the fine-tuned orchestra; without their expertise it would have fallen apart.
Please, I urge you, go and see this; the audience were too few in number. I know the premise of the NYMT may bring back memories of dire school plays, but that could not be further from the reality; these guys may be young, but they are seriously talented. The names of the future could be in that program... you are making a mistake if you don't take this opportunity to see them shine.
West End Girl x