COLCHESTER OPERATIC SOCIETYSWEENEY TODD
Director Dani Fincham
Musical Director Neil Somerville
Performed at the Mercury Theatre 3rd February 2011
One of the most professional productions I have seen from this multi talented society and enjoyed very much from the appreciative audience who like myself were totally engrossed throughout the entire performance.
The complexity of Sondheim’s score was wonderfully captured under the very talented Musical Director Neil Somerville.
The chorus numbers which were so demanding seemed effortless and the balance of voices with a nine piece band was excellent.
The entire cast were so totally believable whether in principal characters smaller roles or chorus which made this a “stand out” production.
Mark Fincham as Sweeney was truly a scary man with superb facial expressions and with a great feel for the part, well sung as well and together with Melanie Greaney as Mrs Lovett” the pie lady”gave the show a tremendous boost.
Melanie as Mrs Lovett was both funny and yet she seemed to have great sympathy for Sweeney who very quickly got her involved in his gruesome scheming.
The songs”A Little Priest” and “ By the Sea” were superbly performed and every bit of humour came across with Melanie’s very expressive eyes.These two characters gave great performances.
David King as Judge Turpin had the stance and stature to confirm his position in society but the darker side was also played to the full.Well played.
Shane King as Anthony the suitor of Johanna was in terrific voice as was Phil Young as Tobias.Their respective solo’s were beautifully delivered with great emotion.
Ben Adams as Beadle Bamford gave a good interpretation to his part and great interplay with the Judge.
Graham Bowden’s Pirelli was a study as an Italian Hairdresser/Hair Advisor.I loved the costume and wig.Graham’s top notes were effortless.Sadly he met his end quite early in the show so we did not hear more of them.
Hannah Shayle-Kennedy as Johanna looked so sweet and gentle and sung like a nightingale a- lovely high soprano.
Caroline Fritz made a furtive beggar Woman and really flew round the stage with great speed in her quest seeking alms.The lullaby was gentle and well delivered, This character was a very important link in the story, which was revealed sadly later in the second act.
The very imaginative lighting added much to the production especially as Sweeney Todd’s victims met their end.A splendid set which really was a very important feature, supplied by Scenic Projects, and gave the feel of old London so well.
Costumes and sound also so important to get right were brilliant.
This review could well sound as if it was a flawless performance, and it was just that!!
Huge Congratulations to the entire company and everyone involved with this production.It should go down in Colchester Operatic’s history as one of the great’s I am sure.
Also to Dani and Neil,obviously a great team in all the extensive work they must have put in to get the standard, which was terrific.
Colchester Operatic Society are very fortunate to have their talents to use.
Many thanks also to the really enjoyable hospitality offered to us as always when we visit.This time I was pleased to accompany Tony Gibbs Chief Executive of NODA who I am sure was very impressed with the production and enjoyed his visit to Colchester.