Review: Sweeney Todd

Review of ‘Sweeney Todd’

The Oxford Culture Review

Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd has long occupied a space between being an opera and a musical. Having won both the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, it has since received performances on opera stages worldwide, with Bryn Terfel gracing the title role with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2002, and at the Royal Opera House with Sir Thomas Allen and Dame Felicity Palmer appearing as Sweeney and Mrs Lovett respectively. As such, the interpretational possibilities offered by Sweeney are seemingly limitless. Oxford Operatic Society’s rendition, currently running at the Oxford Playhouse, fell more on the side of the musical, emphasizing the black humour of the play.

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Nowhere is this humour more evident than in ‘A Little Priest’, the duet between Sweeney and Mrs Lovett that closes the first act. Clare Dovey-Wilson’s performance as Mrs Lovett was exceptional throughout. She brought…

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