Sweeney Todd by GEOIDS
Sweeney Todd by GEOIDS
Sweeney Todd is a musical by Stephen Sondheim which tells of ‘The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.’ Todd had returned to London after being sent to Australia by Judge Turpin, who was in love with his wife. Todd returns to find that his child, Johanna, is now a ward of the Judge and his wife is dead. After meeting Mrs Lovett, a pie maker, he establishes himself as a barber again and sets about to getting his grisly revenge on the Judge and all that helped him.
The success of Sweeney Todd relies hugly upon having really strong principals and luckily GEOIDS were blessed with a very talented set. Thomas Isherwood took the title role. Not only did he sing it beautifully with a suitable tone throughout but his brooding and menacing character was well delivered. Another star of the night was Barry O’Reilly as Tobias Ragg, a simple boy who ends up in the care of Mrs Lovett. His ‘Not While I’m Around,’ was tender and touching and his insightful interpretation of Tobias really made this character a focus of the piece. Maria Waters was Mrs Lovett who brought energy and great comedy timing to the piece and had good chemistry with both Isherwood and O’Reilly in their scenes.
The music in Sweeney Todd is varied, tricky yet stunning to listen to and GEOIDS rose to the challenge. Musical Director, Erike Gundesen had drilled the cast well and the 16 piece band delivered the accompaniment to an exceptionally high standard. I must also comment that it is unusual in amateur theatre to have an orchestra of this size but for this show the investment paid off.
The direction was original for this show, pies and death represented by flakey pastry which was a nice touch. Some of the other set ensemble pieces, with them consistently reverting back to jarred repetitive movement sequences drew away from the tension and simply lead me to wonder as to the purpose of it. There was however good use of the stage and the levels within the set although at times it got a bit cramped at floor level due to the relatively small playing area there.
The feel of the show was enhanced by a well thought out costume design with interesting patterns and complimentary colours used, although I would have liked a more realistic wig for Johanna.
Overall Sweeney Todd was a thoroughly enjoyable evening watching some incredibly talented actors and musicians perform this tricky show, with skill that far exceeds what would normally be seen in on the amateur circuit.
To find out more about GEOIDS and their upcoming shows, visit their website.