Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” Opens in London’s West End: “An Absolute Bleedin' Triumph” (Times, Five Stars)
Stephen Sondheim's famed 1979 musical Sweeney Todd opened at the Adelphi Theatre in London last night, a West End transfer of the acclaimed 2011 Chichester Festival production, directed by Jonathan Kent. The Adelphi run, with the original Chichester cast, starring Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake, Harry Potter) as Mrs. Lovett and Michael Ball (Les Misérables, Hairspray) as Sweeney Todd, has received rave reviews, earning perfect five-star reviews from the Guardian and the Times of London, which calls the production "an absolute bleedin' triumph."
The Adelphi production of Sweeney Todd "leaves me grasping for superlatives," exclaims the Guardian's Michael Billington in his five-star review, and "has given the piece a fresh look without destroying its essential fabric." The show, Billington concludes, "is a superb achievement which proves that Sondheim's musical thriller has genuine social resonance." Read the five-star review at guardian.co.uk.
The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer declares: "In my view, Sweeney Todd is Stephen Sondheim’s best show and one of the greatest musicals of all time."
Nonesuch Records has released two recordings of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: the 2006 Broadway cast recording of the Broadway revival starring Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris and the 2007 film soundtrack to the Tim Burton-directed film adaptation starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Both are available in the Nonesuch Store with high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album included at checkout.
The current West End production is slated to run at the Adelphi Theatre through September 22. For more information and tickets, go to adelphitheatrelondon.com.
Earlier this month, Stephen Sondheim was awarded the Critics' Circle Award for Distinguished Services to the Arts in a lunch held at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London, which has recently presented productions of his musicals A Little Night Music and Road Show. For more on the award and coverage from the event, go to criticscircle.org.uk.