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Review Round-Ups

Emma Thompson is 'divine' in ENO Sweeney Todd

Lonny Price's production starring Bryn Terfel opened at the London Coliseum last night

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Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage

★★★

"Director Lonny Price wrings every ounce of humour from Stephen Sondheim's masterwork, with sight gags galore and a wonderful comic turn from Emma Thompson."

"If only the composer hadn't dubbed Sweeney Todd 'a musical thriller' because chills are absent."

"The divine Ms Thompson, with her brilliant timing and comic asides, offers unbridled joy as Mrs Lovett. She sings the hell out of the score, too"

Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

★★★★

"Sweeney Todd is one of the most thrilling works of musical theatre, and it's a treat to hear Stephen Sondheim's infectious, varied score performed by a 58-piece orchestra."

"Bryn Terfel must surely be the most gifted singer who has ever played the demon barber of Fleet Street."

"there is plenty to savour — Sondheim's mixture of gore, comedy and romance is intoxicating."

Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph

★★★★

"audiences at the Coliseum aren't going to feel short-changed for dramatic interest and Broadway energy."

"Emma Thompson makes a terrific Mrs Lovett, hitting just the right balance between endearing naivete and ruthless amorality, as well as singing meticulously and without affectation."

Michael Billington, Guardian

★★★★

"The evening's chief pleasure lies in the prominence it gives to the performers and Terfel is, in every sense, a massive Sweeney."

"I feel a touch more equivocal about Emma Thompson's Mrs Lovett."

"The chorus is also in fine voice and the orchestra, conducted by David Charles Abell, captures the rich texture of Sondheim's harmonies."

Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

★★★★

"Miss Thompson's soprano has character and just about passes muster. It is in the Victoria Wood class of voice, and I do not necessarily mean that as an insult."

"Lonny Price's production makes one appreciate the score's cleverness and the orchestra, under conductor David Charles Abell, gives each little melodic shimmy a sumptuous quality."

"The grandeur of this show's operatic sweep is asserted by a closing chorus of remarkable force, full-belt sopranos' faces garishly illuminated by footlights. Meaty, indeed."

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