REVIEW: Viva’s production of Sweeney Todd boasts ‘delightful plot twists and splendidly presented music’

Viva presents The Tale of Sweeney Todd

Viva presents The Tale of Sweeney Todd - Credit: Archant

Viva’s production of ‘Sweeney Todd’ at the Brook in Soham was a fine production.

Stephen Sondheim’s musicals can be quite challenging and this was no exception, but as expected, Viva rose to the occasion magnificently. The plot had delightful twists, the characters were all credibly portrayed and the music, often quite complex, was splendidly presented. Sweeney Todd (played by Richard Dodd) was an imposing ex-convict obsessed with revenge and easily capable of multiple murders.

Mrs Lovett (Samantha Gallop) was an excellent partner in crime and Judge (David Tickner) was the very epitome of a high and mighty and corrupt judge.

The beggar woman (Angela Bocking) shaped her body into a figure I swear I have seen begging in London, even when among the audience she never lost the character. She managed to create a real sense of sinister insight touched with melodramatic madness.

Joanna (Zara Minns) and Anthony (Daniel Lane) were notable stars in the show, their singing particularly impressive and their skillful acting readily portraying their courtship thwarted with mishap.

Other believable characters included Beadle (Andy Ward), Tobias (Jordan Thorpe) and Pirelli (Charlie Gillett).

The ensemble supported the action particularly well with their strong unswerving voices and their wonderfully choreographed movements and the orchestra enhanced the singing and atmosphere admirably.

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Director Gail Baker, musical directors Richard Hayward and Graham Brown, and choreographer Jessica Clifford are to be congratulated for yet another real hit by Viva.

This could not have been possible without the tremendous input of Joshua Schumann (producer), Dan Schumann (associate director) and the host of other contributors.

The next Viva show to look forward to is ‘The Little Mermaid’ at St. Andrew’s Church, Soham from July 14 to 16. For tickets call the box office on 01353 722228 or visit