Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd is based on the 19th century melodrama about a London criminal.Todd is sort of portrayed as a noble figure driven to crime when Judge Turpin takes his wife and child from him.He is unjustly imprisoned and vows revenge not only to the judge, but also to all the people of London.
The theater production began with an awesome staging of eeriness to further the mood of the title itself.My attention was captured as soon as the play began.The thick mist gives way to an entire "underworld" of Londoners.They come out with their gutter costumes and worn-looking faces.In cut-off laconic phrases they sing verses of the Sweeney Todd ballad.The ballad is important to the play.Every time I heard it, it just reminded me of the evil that was on stage.I think this was the purpose of the song–to keep the audience's attention focused on the insanity surrounding Sweeney's killing spree.The band of beggars and street people advance toward the audience in rags and in anger.They are very important in showing Sweeney's personality early in the show.To complete the actors' purpose, Sweeney Todd himself rises from the pits below. His face has evil and revenge written all over it.
Sweeney Todd was very convincing with his role.He has one of the most inspired roles, yet it is filled with dark humor.In on scene where he is proceeding to slit throat after throat, a customer comes in with his family. Sweeney just looks on in irritation and frustration. It is hilarious.Sweeney allows the audience to experience several emotions–from horror and disbelief to sympathy and compassion.Although Sweeney is committing murderous acts, he is acting out of the love of his family.His daughter has been stolen from him and his wife's life has been ruined (although he thinks she is dead).Sweeney makes his rage more frightening with the baritone…