REVIEW: Sweeney Todd, Winchester Musicals and Opera Society

Theatre Royal, Winchester

DIRECTOR David Tatnall has taken superb and delicious inspiration from music hall melodrama for a gothic take on this Sondheim classic. Adeptly supported by Martin Paterson's glossy orchestra, a beautiful set and resplendent chorus dissolve before our eyes like Victorian blancmange, make up, costume and lighting echoing the increasingly discordant sounds. All the leads perform well: Katy Hickson is sublime opportunism personified matched in swagger and diction by Adrian Hickford's tortured Sweeney. Peter Lucas belies his young age with aplomb as Tobias whilst Peter Barber's Judge savours each salivatory moment in pursuit of angelic Rosa Sparkes Johanna. James Rosser is an earnest Anthony and Annie Tatnall a spicy beggar woman. A must see!

David Putley