Monstrously good musical

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Sweeney Todd - The Theatre, Blackpool and The Fylde College

IT was a one man show as Performing Arts Students from Blackpool And The Fylde College brought a grisly production of Sweeney Todd to the stage.

Robert Kelly was not the only male in the cast, he had difficult shoes to fill following Johnny Depp as the demon barber of Fleet Street. But as well as filing them, he transformed them into a whole new monstrous pair and gave a performance which will probably give the children on the front row nightmares for weeks.

The menace of a bitterly wronged man hell bent on revenge seeped out of his every pore.

It was a vivid, physical performance and some very impressive vocals tackled the challenging score with ease. He was utterly absorbing to watch and brought a dimension of slow boiling rage and hysteria lacking with Johnny Depp.

He was well matched with Dahlia Gledhill’s ditsy and deranged Mrs Lovett. This part was clearly influenced by Helena Bonham Carter’s film performance but a pair of eerie coloured contact lenses added an extra demonic edge.

Kelsey Grant made a convincingly flamboyant Pirelli, both savage swindler and unswerving showman. The part added humour with audience interaction and she brought a lot to a small part as did Laura West’s Tobias.

This was an impressive production which cleverly and thoughtfully used their limited space. Shadows of Todd’s murders thrown on a stark brick wall added to the spine-tingling effects and much care had gone into atmospheric lighting.

The female students coped well with a score geared towards men and they gave a suitably blood soaked showing of this grim tale.