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This sort of musical theatre needs quality acting and direction to complement the exquisite skill of its writing, and that is what David McVicar's powerful production for Opera North gives it. In Steven Page we see and hear a magnificent portrayal of Sweeney Todd, turning by degrees from his aimless depression into the sinister practitioner of his former skill and at last a revengeful madness at which we try to smile but delight in fearing. Berverley Klein is Mrs Lovett, a part which she gives all that is demanded in rollicking ebullience, combining what become her twin obsessions of infatuation for Todd and homicide with her impressive facility as an actress. Their collegues in the cast team are excellent.

A scene from the Opera North 2002 revival of 'Sweeney Todd'

The young lovers of the piece, Anthony and Joanna, present the show's musical masterpiece. Daniel Broad and Anna-Clare Monk give their well made duet delightful buoyancy ('He means to marry me Monday, what shall I do, I'd rather die', babbles Joanna, persistently interrupted by Anthony's 'Kiss me') with the Judge Turpin (Malcolm Rivers) and the Beadle (Stephen Briggs) turning it into a quartet that would have delighted Mozart.

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Copyright © 16 May 2002 Patric Standford, Wakefield, UK




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