Sweeney Todd 2012
Date: 2 November 2012
Venue: Heworth Grange School, Gateshead
Type of Production: Musical
Producer / Director: Mea Atkinson
Musical Director: Jonny Winter
Choreographer: Rachael Allsopp (Mime sequence)
Review Author: Gwyneth Hunter
The tale of Sweeney Todd was superbly told by Felling Stage Society. Everything flowed together beautifully, with excellent sound, atmospheric lighting and authentic costumes. The set, consisting of a central, revolving cube with some side stage additions, was very effective. The scenes moved seamlessly from one to the other, giving smooth continuity. There was also a great group of musicians under the direction of Jonny Winter, who controlled them and the difficult music superbly.
The chorus singing was strong and dramatic, and singling out principals was difficult as there were no weak links. I thought young Matthew Rankcom was very moving as Tobias Ragg. His rendition of “Not While I’m Around “ was beautiful. Katie Howes, as the manic beggar woman, and Owen Gilfellon, as sleazy Beadle Bamford, both sang and performed superbly, while Andy Dean was suitably arrogant and domineering as Judge Turpin. The star-struck lovers came in the form of Lisa Givens, as Joanna Barker, and Matthew Carr as Anthony Hope. They were ideally matched with lovely singing voices and characters which complimented each other.
Then there were the two main leads who were both excellent. Claire Jackson was fabulous as Mrs Lovett. She retained her character and accent throughout, and sang with power and feeling. As for Michael Geddes, as Sweeney Todd, well, he was simply terrifying. His make-up and demeanour, added to his powerful singing, gave us a sinister and dramatic character, who dominated the show. WOW!
Congratulations to Bea and the team on a great show.