We asked each of our reviewers to nominate their favourite show of 2015. Danny Coleman-Cooke was quick with his reponse – Sweeney Todd by Tooting Arts Club with Jeremy Secomb and Sionhan McCarthy. Sweeney Todd was a spell-binding production that remained in my head for days afterwards. An eerie and perfectly chosen venue combined with a first-class cast and some highly intelligent staging. The most intimate and engaging production I’ve ever seen that rightly got a standing ovation afterwards. It was so good that even Sondheim gave it rave reviews! The show was transferred to a recreation of Harrington’s Pie And Mash Shop on Shaftesbury Avenue with the help of Cameron Mackintosh. See choices from Tim Hochstrasser and Douglas Mayo
Eschewing grandeur and wisely opting to follow that sensible motto, Less Is More, this transfer of the Tooting Arts Club production of late 2014 is a complete triumph in every way. It takes you by the throat and clasps you firmly in its thrall for its entire duration. It is shockingly powerful, brutally honest, raw and rich at the same time. A cast of eight, a band of three, clever but simple lighting, the potent power of blood and candles, economy in every department, a dedication to the text and the score: these are the ingredients of this absolute success.
London is awash with productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at the moment. Perhaps one of the most interesting is taking place at Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop in Tooting, South London. This site-specific production by Tooting Arts Club will see audiences congregate at Anton’s barber shop before being shown to Harrington’s, where the decor, little changed since it was opened in 1908, will provide the setting for Mrs Lovett’s infamous establishment. Mrs Lovett will be played by Siobhan McCarthy who was Olivier nominated as the original Donna in Mamma Mia!, and is also known for playing Roisin Connor in ITV’s Bad Girls. Siobhan will be joined by Jeremy Secomb as Sweeney. Jeremy’s West End Credits include The Phantom Of the Opera and Priscilla. Other casting includes David Freeman as Judge Turpin, Ian Mowatt as Beadle Bamford, Kiara Jay as Pirelli/Beggar Woman, Nadim Naaman as Anthony Hope, Grace Chapman as … Read more