Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialEntertainment & SportTheatre & Comedy.

Gordo, Suspect and Sweeney Todd

Gordo doesn’t do musical reviews normally, but was sent a couple of tickets to the press night of Sweeney Todd...

Written by . Published on March 20th 2006.

Gordo, Suspect and Sweeney Todd

Gordo doesn’t do musical reviews normally, but was sent a couple of tickets to the press night of Sweeney Todd by the rather luscious Wendy Potter. As you may know, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street was in the habit of cutting out the middle man when it came to supplying Mrs Lovett, the owner of the baker’s shop downstairs, with fresh fillings for her pies. He simply slit the throat of his barber shop clients and dropped the corpses downstairs. A whole new take on customer service.

Based on a book by Hugh Wheeler and with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this cutie of a story was played out at The Opera House. Gordo took his pal Paula in order to have something to hold onto should he get frightened, and settled down to a tin of Pringles in the Circle. Good seats, comfy, the whole cinema looks like it has had a refit fairly recently. A good venue.

Jason Donovan popped up as Sweeney, playing a really fine part coming across as shifty, sometimes vulnerable and often very evil; a rather nasty chip on his shoulder in the form of a cut throat razor. Harriet Thorpe played Mrs Lovett, big, busty, needy and a little frightening at times. The players supplied the instruments and subsequently the music which can be viewed as cleverly innovative or cleverly parsimonious depending on your point of view. Or the view of the redundant orchestra.

The set was 18th century abattoir minimalism with highly effective lighting and a coffin. The production team of John Dole, Sarah Travis, Richard G. Jones and Chris Full deserve a slap on the back. The effect was of creepy evildoings without having to spend a fortune on CGI.

Outstanding was Joanna Hickman as Sweeney’s long lost daughter Johanna.

The thing is this, Gordo’s knowledge of this genre is somewhat limited. He was rather hoping to try out a pie. Reading the program and Nick Hobbes’ article within, Gordo couldn’t help but call for another packet of salt and vinegar Pringles when reading populist questions posed by Mr. Hobbes such as “Is the show a Brechtian Spectacle”?


Gordo bumped into Sarah Gormley and Emily Pedrezzini (may well not be the correct spelling; the sooner she marries James Hickman the better) on the way out. We were all wondering if the lovers got it on in the end. Let Gordo know please!

OK, what was the verdict? Very enjoyable, very different and very, very well thought through. Next time you go to the barbers, watch out for white enamel buckets.

Email Me Now!

The Opera House until the 4th of March. Call ticketmaster 0870 401 6000 .

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants


Believe me MONOPRIX more ASDA than Tesco....

 Read more

What are 'richest diary pastures'?

 Read more

Saw it a few years ago at the Opera House with Marcus Brigstocke as Arthur. Really good, silly fun.…

 Read more
David Smith

Crackerjack................whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Strong current reference there.

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2022

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord