The Mount Players team presents an enchanting production of this very complex and musically challenging work. Sondheim fans came from everywhere to audition and a very high proportion of participants have not worked with this company before.
As Musical Director, Peter Weerts excels with a small band of musicians of impeccable timing, supporting several beautiful, pure and skilled singing voices.
In the crucial role of Mrs Lovett, Kat Cusworth is a delight. She sweeps the audience away with her beautiful singing and astute characterisation. Playing a very tense, tormented and sometimes melodramatic Sweeney, Alan Sendra exhibits a stunning singing voice. Likewise the singing of Ainsley Prentice-Poxon as Tobias Ragg is very strong and expressive of pathos. The two romantic leads, played by Brendan Crozier and Natasha Ferroff, are convincing and Natasha as Johanna Barker ‘sings like a bird’ at times. Casey Withoos as Adolfo Pirelli is good and funny and Beadle Bamford (Greg Pascoe) elicits big laughs with his use of a falsetto speaking voice. Adrian Munro as Judge Turpin and Chris Finch as Mr Fogg fill the shoes of their characters and Maggie Mottram plays the Beggar Woman for laughs to a lively responsive audience.
The set incorporates the chute for disposal of bodies and demanding scene changes are well managed. The design is not entirely uniform, with a touch of the Tim Burton film about many, but not all, of the players. This is particularly noticeable in the look of the wonderfully melodic chorus where some beautiful singers look distorted and deathly.
Many, many people worked on this show to produce a wonderfully memorable result.
Adrian Munro as the Judge and Alan Sendra as Sweeney Todd. Photo: Bruce Hedge