Standing ovation for youngsters’ Sweeney

REVIEW: Sweeney Todd, Bexhill High School theatre, June 19-22.

STEPHEN Sondheim’s masterpiece and arguably his best piece of work, was performed by a local group of actors aged 11–18. The production was an absolute triumph and a joy to watch.

The moment the curtain opened the audience were enthralled by the sheer professionalism of the young group who just oozed enthusiasm.

Sweeney played by Daniel Ogilvie delivered a superbly sinister and chilling performance as the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and interacted brilliantly with Yasmin-Nadia Sebbah who gave an outstanding portrayal as Mrs Lovett.

They both vocally excelled at the demanding Sondheim score.

Johanna was beautifully sung by Mollie Tucker whose duet with Tyler Sargeant as Anthony Hope was most moving. Ryan Harman’s interpretation of Tobias Ragg was convincing and portrayed the character’s vulnerability.

Zach Le Cheminant as the evil Judge Turpin, together with Georgia Stait as the manic Beggar Woman both gave striking performances and added to the gruesome atmosphere.

Rachelle Diedericks as Adolpho Pirelli, Sam Clark as Beadle Bamford, Chae Greene as Jonas Fogg and Bethany Claridge as Lucy Barker were all more than competent in their roles and contributed magnificently to this macabre production.

The Wardens and Ensemble were immaculately polished and shared the story amongst themselves in a totally convincing manner.

Daniel Goodger excelled as the Musical Director and accompanist.

Director Adam Hepkin, who has a long list of professional credits to his name as actor and director, brought to fruition a compelling production, one minute sinister, the next comic, which served to augment the terror.

A well-deserved standing ovation for this talented cast was received at the end.

Tony Mansi