Sweeney Todd is a dark tale brought to the stage in Stephen Sondheim’s inimitable style; and then brought to light by BOST’s inimitable style of great singing, staging and superb casting.
The deft directorial hand of Elsie Kelly was evident throughout and Tricia Gaskell’s musical direction was as ever splendid.
Ballet Mistress Colette Clare and Chorus Mistress Rose McPherson also outlined the strength in depth of the production team.
The stage crew did a fine job with their seamless handling of the complex set and the inobtrusive way they often remained on stage throughout many aspects of the action. In essence the whole of the backstage crew must be congratulated for the support they gave to their colleagues on stage all of whom more than lived up the high standard B.O.S.T has given us over the years.
In playing the eponymous hero, Tony Prince displayed his ability to capture the character needed. In humour and drama he has more than once shown himself capable of being the master of his role and this was no exception.
Gina Phillips was absolutely brilliant as Mrs Lovett. One minute beautifully funny, the next very much the scheming villainess. Her rendition of “By the Sea” was a triumph and could have easily have stopped the show.
The lovers Johanna (Sarah Carroll) and Anthony Hope (Mark McManus), who were both in good voice, provided a suitable romantic foil to the machinations of Judge Turpin (Frank Nance), another fine actor adept at finding just the right style for the part he is playing, whilst his assistant Beadle Bamford (Michael Pearson) applied just the right amount of menace consistent with his role.
Hard to believe that Brian Comer, who played Tobias Ragg, is only 15. He showed a talent well beyond his years in this challenging part and his singing was very fine indeed.
Pat Davies (The Beggar Woman) has been an extremely strong actress since I first saw her and once again showed that she has lost none of powers in this direction, always a joy to see.
Chris Simmons made the role of the bombastic braggadocio barber, Adolfo Pirelli, his own; another who brings a high standard to everything he does.
Carl Loughlin (Jonas Fogg), Jennifer Swanepoel (Young Lucy) and Anthony Pude (Bird Seller) took on smaller roles all of which however were necessary to the plot and which made their contribution all the more important. Well done to the three of you.
The ensemble singers were, as we have grown to expect, very fine not only in their singing but in the manner in which they support the action of the main characters whenever it is appropriate.
Great show…I can hardly wait for “Hello Dolly!”
> Budge Grounsell, NODA Regional Representative, North West Region 4