Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is said to be the “bloodiest, scariest” musical ever written.

Although that presents obvious difficulties for the production staff and the players, the Toowoomba Choral Society’s version at the Empire Theatre wove the complexities of the story together to produce a superb performance.

Their efforts were rewarded with a standing ovation as the curtain came down on the opening night on 1 September.

Leading the way in the title role as the psychopathetic barber Kyle Dever was most convincing.

His presence was suitably dictatorial and his voice strong.

This plus his continual interplay with Vicki Bravery, as Mrs Lovett, whose pie business boomed using Sweeney’s victims, was a absorbing to watch.

Mrs Lovett, complete with a red neck-to-knee bathing suit and stockings from the 1780s where Sweeney Todd is set, also featured in By The Sea, which was one of the highlights of the show.

Sweeney’s long lost daughter Johanna Barker was played perfectly by Shannon Gralow, whose voice was a joy to listen to.

Justin Tamblyn as Johanna’s suitor and ultimate rescuer Anthony Hope was faultless while her captor Judge Turpin – Jon Maskell – excelled.

Jon, who has been singing professionally with the Opera Queensland Chorus for seven years, has a powerful voice and his diction was faultless.

The 16-year-old Gabe Tiller, as Tobian Ragg, was the youngest member of the cast.

He certainly was not overawed by the pressure that placed on him in this capacity as played a significant part throughout and ultimately in the unraveling of Sweeney’s bizarre behavior.

The supporting cast – especially Catherine Carter as the Beggar Woman and Matt Collins as Adolfo Pirelli – the costuming, the lighting, the sets and the music were also more than equal to the task.

That in turn is a tribute to the chair/producer Rebecca Cherry, deputy chair Debra Nairn, director Mary Quade, musical director Shane Tooley and choreographer Daniel Erbacher.

Read more about Sweeney Todd choreographer Daniel Erbacher here.

 

Share Button