Stephen Sondheim’s musicals have thrilled audiences on Broadway and in London’s West End. Now it is time for one of his funniest creations, Sweeney Todd, to return to Sydney for another hair-raising, rib-tickling, stomach-turning run. It might not be opera, but Sondheim’s hugely accessible score treats this story of murder and passion – not to mention pies – with an emotional immediacy and comic flair that Mozart himself would applaud.
Business is brisk for barber Sweeney Todd, aka Benjamin Barker returned convict. But the gentlemen who visit his shop in Fleet Street, just above lovely Mrs Lovett's Pies, do not realise they are under the knife of a man whose heart is blistered with tragedy. A sharp razor plus a lust for revenge and a shortage of meat downstairs equals blood, and it's not just a shaving cut.