Forget horsemeat - even dodgier pies are on offer thanks to Sweeney Todd
Louth Riverhead Theatre
Forget the horsemeat scandal; the meat pies on offer in Louth this week are even dodgier as the demon barber of Fleet Street rises once more.
In the bowels of the town's Riverhead Theatre, the infamous Mrs Lovett is back in business and her pie shop is doing a roaring trade.
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Under the directorial team of Brian Cliffe and Mike Gibson, the Victorian melodrama Sweeney Todd, written by C G Bond, acquires a fresh and exciting impetus.
The rising of the curtain unveils the setting for the horrific crimes we are about to witness; a barber’s, the pie shop and cellars containing the ovens, whilst to one side a judges lodgings and to the other a lunatic asylum.
Jeremy Smith presents us with a Sweeney Todd wracked with guilt and anger, bent on revenge for the miscarriage of justice that separated him from his wife and daughter.
He hatches a plan to take the lives of those he deems responsible, the corrupt Beadle Bamford (Bruce Bourquin) and the immoral Judge Turpin (Oliver Cookson).
Motivated by love, Vicki Head’s buxom Mrs Lovett quickly proves a willing accomplice; as she contemplates the bonus of a new source of fresh meat; recent events injecting a strong comedic element to her lines.
As Sweeney Todd embarks on his quest, he quickly disposes of those who prove a distraction; settling them in his barber’s chair, a vicious swipe of his cutthroat razor, the pull of a lever and they disappear through the floor.
The play presents us with characters that earn our sympathy, those we despise and some who we warm to, such as Brandon Hunt’s Tobias Ragg, the innocent waif drawn into this bloody tale.
In this production of Sweeney Todd, one moment you will be laughing and the next cringing but it’s certainly absorbing entertainment.
The show is on at Louth Riverhead Theatre until Saturday. To book and for more information, call the box office on 01507 600350.