Centenary Theatre, Williamstown
4 – 19 November
Williamstown Musical Theatre Company
By Matthew Sheahan
Opening night of Williamstown’s Sweeney Todd was a treat. I entered the theatre into the dark world of Fleet Street with performers already on stage dumping ‘dead bodies’ into the rubbish, I thought this have the show a realism as people were walking in. The set is very effective with great use of smoke and lighting to create the fog and dreariness off the street. They also used a raised stage other their usual flat stage which I thought was also very effective and gave the audience a chance to see it more up close. The lighting through the whole show was fantastic and really boosted the music and the darkness element.
To the performers, Shaun Kingma as Sweeney is amazing. His baritone voice is exceptionally pure and he embodies the role both physically and musically. This is a role made for him. Stephanie Powell (Mrs Lovett) is hilarious and also has a fantastic voice that plays off Kingma so well. Jessica Faulkner as Joanna sings her role in an exquisite soprano and plays the role with innocence and purity. Judge Turpin is a highlight with his Baritone vocals soaring in anger and passion and Antony is sweet and plays the role again in the innocence the role requires. The highlight is Toby for sure, his acting is flawless and voice is soft and pure. His final scene is both haunting and freaky at the same time. Tyson Legg as Parelli is also a highlight with his comedy timing. The cast is complimented by the very tight ensemble who produce a beautiful big sound that Sweeney Todd needs. Daniel Heskett and his orchestra handle the intense musical score with gusto and I thought were one of the most professional sounding orchestras I’ve heard, particularly the string section the brought the clashes and complex music to life.
As said above, the lighting, set and use of smoke effects really fill the show out and bring to life the haunting and darkness of the show. I particularly enjoyed the use of the the blood!
Well done to all at WMTC. The show runs for 3 weekends.
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About the Author
Matthew Sheahan is an active performer on the community theatre scene having performed in musical theatre for almost 20 years all over Melbourne. He is also a vocal coach and has also written and performed his own cabaret shows.
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