Magnificent sets and the best of SA theatre talent comes together in this applauded production of Sweeney Todd.
Pieter Torien and KickStart productions brings musical thriller Sweeney Todd to Joburg and Cape Town audiences. The show, which is most well-known from Tim Burton’s 2007 rendition with Johnny Depp, stars actors Charon Williams-Ros as the conniving and cruel Mrs Lovett and Jonathan Roxmouth as the demon barber, Sweeney Todd.
Set in mid-1800s London, it tells the tale of a baker woman, Mrs Nellie Lovett, and a barber, Sweeney Todd, who plot together for their own ends.
Sweeney, who has returned from 15 years of wrongful imprisonment, wants revenge on the judge who separated him from his wife and daughter. He practises on whichever lamb wanders innocently into his barbershop by slitting their throats with his silver straight razors.
Mrs Lovett, who once baked the worst pies in a city where stray cats are the main source of meat, starts a booming business of suspiciously-named meat pies.
The show’s set is reminiscent of London’s streets and alleys, and makes clever use of two levels to accurately show the different plots simultaneously playing out throughout the story. Skilful lighting makes the sinister story all the more daunting, and punctuated by the ensemble singing at the front of the stage, their face lit from below, it’s hard not to feel the chill of a dish best served cold.
Jonathan Roxmouth’s transformation into the vengeful Sweeney is foreboding, and his towering figure, deep voice and unwavering glare is enough to terrify and enchant you all at once. Charon Williams-Ros perfectly embodied her character, and her dark sense of humour is chilling to the bone.
Sweeney Todd is on at Montecasino in Joburg until 13 December and at Cape Town’s Theatre on the Bay from 19 February to 9 April.