Sweeney Todd: Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop

It was the season of Sweeney!


London had two productions of Sweeney Todd playing within the past few weeks.
A huge production from the ENO starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel,
and a smaller fringe transfer with Jeremy Secomb and Siobhan McCarthy.

The last time I was in London, Imelda Staunton and Michael Ball starred in a production
at the Adelphi Theatre, that for some reason I just 'decided I didn't feel like going.'
......???????????
I'm still working on forgiving myself for that.

SO, with that traumatic experience of stupidity looming over my head, I knew I had to see at least one of these.
With ENO's production prices in the hundreds and Tooting Arts Club's all sold out, though,
I was pretty sure Sweeney himself was blatantly holding this show just out of my reach.

Luckily though, I stumbled on the website one day to find a single seat returned for Tooting Art's Clubs production - and yes. I JUMPED.

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Sweeney Todd ran at Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop down in Tooting,
and to much praise, it made a short transfer to the West End
in an exactly replicated shop right on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Look closely though, because you might miss this little door smacked between the massive Les Miserables and Thriller marquees.
Once inside,  you'll be taken downstairs into a lobby filled with photos and descriptions of the old shop
that will lead you to where the show will be played.

There are a few, narrow rows of tables to sit at, as well as a back line of chairs.
Very small and intimate - and in my opinion, the best kind of theatre.
You'll get cast members literally in your face, on your table,
shoving you down the rows.
I even left with a bit of shaving cream on my dress,
which makes you feel much more like you aren't just watching the show,
but apart of the show.

This small cast of only eight is incredibly strong as well.
As with most smaller scaled shows I've see, they are always packed with a solid group of talent.

Jeremy Secomb led the cast as Sweeney, and gave the room the eery chill it needed for this show.
He was stiff, upright, and always tense with a bit of insanity - just as I would imagine Sweeney to be.
He was vicious to the audience with his death stares and shouts.
that created only a mildly terrifying atmosphere...

Siobhan McCarthy brings a great spirit as Sweeney's right hand lady
with just the right bits of comedy that Mrs. Lovett needed, as well as a beautiful voice.

Nadim Naaman and Zoe Daono play the young lovers with a great ease; Daono has the necessary
balance of ferocity and wit as Joanna to match the handsome and honest Naaman's Anthony.

Joseph Taylor is also not one to be missed, with an incredible presence on stage and off.
I noticed him before the show began with his warm welcome to different member of the audience,
 and absolutely loved his cheeky little interval tune to get the audience back into the shop.
Beyond this, he absolutely throws himself into his role of Tobias with a warm and playful demeanor as well as a subtle side of youth and innocence.

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It's a great night of fun - raw, chilling, intense fun, that is.
If you're looking for a show to keep you on your toes, this is it.


Sweeney Todd runs at Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop until May 30.
Performances run Monday - Saturday 7:30PM with matinees Thursday & Saturday 2:30PM.
The running time for this show is approximately 2 hours 40 minutes with one interval.
The show is currently SOLD OUT, but keep checking the site for returns to pop up, as I have seen plenty come.


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