Overall, a very well thought out and impressive performance. The setting on stage was magnificent - especially Sweeney's barber shop which was on a raised platform that rotated. Believable acting on the whole, but wasn't entirely convinced by Michael Ball's performance - the character didn't seem to suit him - he didn't appear to be particularly 'dark' and his acting came across rather wooden. Disappointed as Ball is an outstanding actor that definitely deserves all the credit he has been given in the past, but Imelda Staunton excelled and definitely stole the show as Mrs. Lovett. Some parts of the production were a little inappropriate to my taste, especially in a certain scene with Judge Turpin, but in all, well worth seeing. And most definItely worth a standing ovation. - Sophie R-C
03 Nov 11
Outstanding show, amazing production and well cast! Loved it and would go again! Thank you - Pauline Messenger.
30 Oct 11
loved it from start to finish outstanding performances and the lyrics were just magnificicant. would recommend it ...it could run and run - Pauline McLaren
27 Oct 11
Thoroughly enjoyable and fantastic production for Chichester - a quality act! Imelda Staunton oustanding Michael Ball convincing. Took the teenagers (always reluctant) but all enjoyed THANK YOU - Arabella
26 Oct 11
This Sweeney is a cut above all others,Mr Ball your a real class act and Miss Staunton "untouchable",best show iv'e seen in many a year,only sad point now "SOLD OUT" - bill phillips
23 Oct 11
Michael Ball is a revelation and Staunton is superb and the rest of the cast were very good, particularly James M as Tobias. The staging, lighting and orchestra were also excellent.
Not to be missed. Great that it will move to London. - Dave P
22 Oct 11
Positive: Great orchestrations, clear diction, excellent performance from Imelda Staunton who steals the show - however I would have liked her final moments before the oven to be made more of, Peter Polycarpou was also very good.
Negative: The non victorian setting including the terrible neon lights of Lovetts pies - why, the far too intimate scene on chaise longue of Anthony and Johanna and Anthonys 'Gene Kelly' performance, the unconvincing, sibilant Michael Ball - he is only comfortable when he has some notes for his singing voice to soar. Badly miscast - the scenes between him and Staunton are like mother and petulant son.
Conclusion: in order of preference -
Trafalgar studios, Bridewell theatre, National theatre, Half moon theatre, Library theatre and finally, bottom of the list, Chichester Festival theatre - disappointing.
14 Oct 11
unfortunately did not enjoy this production at all and we left in the interval. Kept waiting for Michael Ball to appear, the judge was rather stupid in certain parts, the only enjoyable part was imelda stauton, having seen michael ball in other productions was extremely disappointed with his performance, and why was the actual authentic parts of the play messed about with, no did not enjoy. The best part was the ginger ice cream - lynda macdermid
12 Oct 11
This is my tenth Sweeney Todd, but I don’t think I’ve laughed or squirmed so much at any of the others. This is very dark but often very funny, which makes it a great Sweeney.
I’d always thought Imelda Staunton was born to play Mrs Lovett, but boy did she exceed my expectations. She starts as a bit of a naive chancer but soon matches Sweeney’s blood thirstiness as she becomes more and more besotted with him. The real revelation though is Michael Ball’s Sweeney, whose transition from revenger to serial murderer is brilliantly played. Together they are extraordinary.
Jonathan Kent’s production is as dark as they come. I had to turn my head quite often as the blood flowed and the bodies piled up. The black comedy is not lost though; indeed it’s heightened. The duet where Sweeney and Mrs Lovett discuss who might end up in their pies is as good as it gets. Anthony Ward has created a seedy Dickensian London with fencing and caging, a central two-story platform for the barber shop, an elevated gallery and a rather large oven!
All of the supporting roles are well cast. Spring Awakening’s Lucy May Barker continues her impressive stage career with a fine Joanna, Luke Brady is a passionate Anthony and James McConville is the best Tobias I’ve ever seen. John Bowe and Peter Polycarpou both relish their roles as baddies Judge Turpin and Beadle Bamford respectively. The musical standards under MD Nicholas Skilbeck are very high, with an excellent 15-piece band and a superb 16-piece ensemble doing full justice to Sondheim’s wonderful score.
This is as fine a Sweeney as you’ll ever see and if it doesn’t end up in the West End before Christmas I shall be very surprised indeed.
- Gareth James
12 Oct 11
I went to the Saturday matinee yesterday and Andrew Lloyd-Webber was in the audience - The cast received a well deserved standing ovation. I wasn't too keen on the neon lighting for Mrs Lovett's shop, but I thoroughly enjoyed the performances of Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, who played her part brilliantly. I thought that James McConville stood out from the crowd. A fab afternoon. Thank you cast, orchestra and crew!! - val
09 Oct 11
Excellent all round, Michael Ball is out of this world and has taken his career to a new level, Imelda Staunton could not be better suited to this role and her performance topped my list of a flawless cast. Loved both Luke Brady and Lucy May Barker along with other standout performances by John Bowe & James McConville. This cast will be taking the show to the West End without doubt! London you’re in for a treat. - P Marshall
08 Oct 11
On the whole the production was magnificent. Why did Jonathan Kent feel the need though to change the date of the piece. Oo yeah edgy ?? Two juves were totally miscast and how/why were they, their vocals were even weak.Crazy! Imelda Staunton was terrific and Michael Ball was unrecognisable in the role. I would have liked him more if Mr Kent had allowed him to be a less sneering disturbed Sweeney Todd. - Michael
07 Oct 11
Spine tingling show. Michael Ball was excellent; he stepped well outside his comfort zone and gave a spine-chilling performance, however, Imelda Staunton stole the show with her portrayal of Mrs Lovett and I've already booked more tickets to see it again. Well done to the whole cast & production team!! This production richly deserves a West End transfer. - Glossyhair
07 Oct 11
Patchy. Dating is confused (Bedlam lunatics in 30s? - the setting is clearly totally Victorian!), and Ball is miscast - one-dimensional acting and not best use of his voice. Whilst some support work is good, some is weak - great ensemble singing but some soloists weak (Johanna). Imelda Staunton is outstanding, and carries the show - without her this would be a miss. Too much spurting blood and gloom to want to see again.. - Mike Richard
07 Oct 11
Sorry no this is not a 5 star show at all.
Yes Imelda Staunton is worth every penny and brings Mrs Lovett to mint fresh life but
Michael sings well but just can not cut the role of Todd acting/voice wise.
The rest of the company work up a storm and the band are a good size & excellent.
The set is very good and the update to 1930's/40's does not jar at all.
However some other roles are very under par esp. Anthony and Johanna.
Just off the mark all round. - westendfanbase
07 Oct 11
Enjoyed the show far more that I expected to. Both leading stars brilliant. Want to go again. - Heather
03 Oct 11
Brilliant from start to finish - loved every moment and Michael Ball exceptional, as was Imelda Staunton. Standing ovation richly deserved. - Christine
01 Oct 11
well done michael. outside his normal, but fantastic - knew he could do it/ imelda staunton...beyond superb. amazing performance.every fibre of her alive. gobamscked. great show.well done to entire cast and the set direction. - russell bramley
30 Sep 11
Wonderful Show. Michael Ball's performance gave us goosebumps. Imelda Staunton drew us into the terrible world of Mr Todd with humour. Unforgettable evening. - Carol
30 Sep 11
Fantastic Show, cast & staging, well & a excellent performance by Imelda Staunton...This needs to be in the West End - Tim
29 Sep 11
Fantastic show.. the two stars were magnificent. Imelda was so alive on stage..wow what a woman! Standing ovation, everybody happy. - G.Denyer
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