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Whitgift’s stellar Sweeney Todd

Whitgift Drama's spine-tingling, bone-chilling and rip-roaring performance of Sweeney Todd

Date published: Mon 7 Mar 2016   Author: B. Gibson-Patteux   Category: Performing Arts  

What better way to dust out the winter cobwebs than with a spine-tingling, bone-chilling and rip-roaring performance of Sweeney Todd. Whitgift Drama never fails to impress and the collaboration with girls from Old Palace of John Whitgift School, and Croydon High School courtesy of Whitgift Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (WAVPA), topped off with a 40-piece orchestra, makes for a production worthy of the West End.

The audience was transported back to Victorian London with a vast array of colourful, and delightfully-dark, characters. A barber is wronged by a judge, who robs him of his wife and child. After a period of exile, the barber returns with a new identity and is hell-bent on revenge. He finds an unlikely ally in a down-and-out pie shop owner. In a murderous twist, their scheming changes the humble pie business into a flourishing, and thoroughly macabre, enterprise.

Alex Buchanan transforms himself into the mad, bad, bitter and very twisted barber Sweeney Todd, and Blanche Brown, of Croydon High, skilfully creates co-conspirator Mrs Lovett, who is simultaneously endearing and yet blood-thirstily thrifty.

Todd and Lovett’s escalating deviance draws in their surrounding characters – a stellar supporting cast – into their tangled web of deceit, with an ever-rising body count.

Head of Drama, Mrs Miranda Merrett, commented, “Sondheim’s production is a complex and intricate work of art, and doing it justice was therefore a considerable challenge – yet these very talented students have truly mastered the difficult music and brilliantly-eccentric characters. I am incredibly proud of their professionalism and outstanding achievement.”