Tooting Arts Club's immersive staging of Sondheim and Wheeler’s iconic musical thriller transfers from London to NYC's Barrow Street Theatre. Now starring Tony nominee Carolee Carmello. More…
After being wrongfully imprisoned by the corrupt Judge Turpin, escapee Benjamin Barker uses the alias Sweeney Todd to resume work in his barber shop above Mrs. Lovett’s struggling pie shop. He swears vengeance against the judge that tore his family apart, and hatches a plot with Mrs. Lovett that leads them down a dangerous, thrilling path with deadly consequences. Instead of a traditional theater setting, this revival is set inside a 360-degree replica environment of Harrington's Pie & Mash shop. The action takes place downstairs on and around the shop’s service counter and four nearby tables. While there is no formal audience participation, certain seats are very close to the players. Pie and mash is served beginning one hour prior to each performance.
“Stephen Sondheim’s musical masterpiece. Extraordinary art…A superb production...‘Sweeney Todd’ is flawless theater. Eight amazing performers…Productions like these show us how utterly engaging more creatively intimate theater can be. Bravo to Barrow Street for this tour de force, bravo to director Bill Buckhurst, and bravo to the entire cast and production team…As good as a musical gets, as good as theater gets." Full Review
"This is environmental theatre at its finest...The power of this production comes from the relative simplicity of its elements. Eight actors portray the main characters and shift into an ensemble chorus when necessary...The cast is without fault...The real allure of this production is the clarity and the effectiveness of the way it reveals the wonderful marriage between Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics and Hugh Wheeler’s book." Full Review
"A chance to see two top-shelf singer/actors, Norm Lewis and Carolee Carmello, transform a production that opened as an amusing Grand Guignol melodrama into a deeply moving and gorgeously sung evening of thrilling musical theatre...Lewis gives full value to Sondheim's music...His Sweeney Todd isn't a madman, but rather an emotionally wounded human driven to madness...Carmello draws you in with her character's absurd self-effacing humor and breaks your heart." Full Review
“This high-concept staging is a bloody wonder…Bill Buckhurst and a hugely talented cast make this site-specific 'Sweeney' seem as natural as pie and mash…In this claustrophobic environment, the horror and madness is palpable…The sonic joys of Sondheim’s richly woven score and the Grand Guignol shocks of this primal tragedy are almost unbearably intense...This thrilling, overwhelming 'Sweeney' is a full-course meal: hot from the oven and dripping blood." Full Review
"The real wonder of all this is that it never feels gimmicky -- just a full-on, assault-all-your-senses immersion into one of the greatest musicals ever crafted...Occasionally you may yearn for a little more distance from the action. But Buckhurst, Secomb and the smashing Siobhan McCarthy have succeeded in restoring all the intensity and Grand Guignol creepiness to a musical thriller that can devolve into kitsch. See this once-in-a-lifetime production at all costs." Full Review
"With his dead eyes, hollow cheeks and slicked-back hair, Jeremy Secomb is a very scary Todd. Any vocal shortcomings are more than made up for by his commanding presence. Siobhan McCarthy is as fine a Mrs. Lovett as I have seen...Kudos to director Bill Buckhurst for holding everything together. It’s a unique theatrical experience that I highly recommend. I also suggest ordering the pre-show pot pie and mash for $20 with beverage." Full Review
"In this environment, and with such a gifted company, the musical's rattling terrors and jet-black comedy are felt with a power that, for me, recalls the electrifying effect of the original, still one of the top five experiences I've had in four decades of theatregoing...Everything in Buckhurst's production is infused with imagination...Buckhurst makes judicious use of audience interaction without ever undermining the show's savage viewpoint, its cruel and sinister jokes." Full Review
“A thrillingly immersive revival, which takes an already great musical and turns it into a heart-pounding visceral experience…Secomb combines the efficient physicality of a remorseless killer with a truly lovely singing voice…Director Bill Buckhurst excels at drawing out suspense and tension in his staging…Tooting Arts Club's production is full of such memorable surprises. It pulls us into the heart of the story like no other musical playing in New York right now.” Full Review
“Secomd as Sweeney Todd and Siobhán McCarthy as Mrs. Lovett are two of the four holdovers from the London production, and their simultaneously chilling and hilarious performances are reason enough to make this a must-see show…The other four cast members are welcome additions for the New York transfer…This production of ‘Sweeney Todd’ somehow feels seminal.” Full Review
“Brilliantly inventive…Director Bill Buckhurst's approach is great fun…Everything about this propulsive staging works beautifully...A bigger orchestra could hardly top the effectiveness of this production's chamber sized threesome…None of this clever immersiveness would work without a cast who can deliver on all counts. And the Brits who pioneered the London hit do so with flying colors, as do the Americans who have now joined them.” Full Review
“Buckhurst manages to find the perfect, and sometimes elusive, mix of macabre, mirth, and melodrama…Yep, you’ll laugh, you’ll gasp…And you’ll leave humming every bit of Sondheim’s magnificently diverse score, and immediately want to go back for seconds. (Even the three-piece orchestra is sufficiently wonderful!) Much of the credit for the production’s success belongs to the stunningly chosen eight-person cast.” Full Review
"This singular production holds up extremely well. Primarily, that’s because Buckhurst has managed to find that elusive mix of macabre, mirth, and melodrama in Hugh Wheeler’s perfectly crafted book...Moreover, the director’s immersive staging feels like much more than just a gimmick here...Still, the production wouldn’t succeed nearly as well without this cast, all of whom craft vivid characterizations and handle Sondheim’s cleverly complex score with aplomb." Full Review
"The intimacy of the space is captivating. The actors move in and about the tables and customers. The fourth wall comes down with a flourish and then pops back up again...These actors march through the story like an army on the move. They take no prisoners, and make you sit up and pay attention, not only through their intimacy, but through their plain old skill. This is an ensemble that cares as much about each other as they do about the story...This production is magic. Pure and fine." Full Review
“As a concept, it holds together remarkably well…All these clashing sentiments burn bright in an accomplished ensemble combining London holdovers with newcomers…The urgency and immediacy of its storytelling make it a terrific introduction to a glittering musical by a composer at the peak of his powers, and also an invigorating new spin for audiences who know and love this brilliantly conceived Victorian nightmare.” Full Review
“Sondheim’s mid-career masterpiece…‘Sweeney Todd’ is filled with so much wonder that, especially when you have a cast and a director as talented as those involved in this London import, it can temporarily erase the memory of the cynicism or knowingness that informs so many other current productions..The actors perform without mugging. Their characterizations are organic, and they open Sondheim’s brilliant lyrics up to a new freshness: their interpretations are those of actors, not stars.” Full Review
"It's a stripped-down production featuring a lean and very mean company of performers that sing their guts out, and they kill it!...The intimate space lets us hear Sondheim's gloriously complex score loud and clear, and it gives us new appreciation for his searing lyrics. And when Sweeney starts slashing throats and his accomplice Mrs. Lovett cooks up the corpses into meat pies, it's especially ghoulish as the audience is thrust right into the middle of the action." Full Review
“It’s all so cleverly conceived…The spectacular London cast has been joined by the heart rending Matt Doyle …You won’t miss a beat of the exciting Sondheim brilliance that continuously pulsates in this operetta enveloping the audience…The direction by Bill Burkhurst will knock your socks off…Having seen two revivals of this remarkable Sondheim work, I can honestly say this one is the best of the lot in my opinion.” Full Review
“Masterfully directed by Bill Buckhurst…What roots the production is Secomb’s chill fury and seeming physical restraint, which makes his explosions of violence that much more memorable…Your nerves at being within the action command as much of your attention as the performances, and the three wonderful musicians who manage to sound like a full orchestra…McCarthy’s fantastic performance perfectly captures Mrs. Lovett’s homely and hungry embodiment of the diabolical.” Full Review
"Both the most intimate production of the show I've ever seen and also one of the most confrontational and powerful. It's not just in-your-face theatre, but also sometimes in-your-lap...Jeremy Secomb’s performance is chilling and intense, unrelenting in its severity and savagery. Sondheim's show is also darkly funny and Buckhurst doesn't stint on this, with Siobhan McCarthy embodying Mrs Lovett's practical amorality with hilarious spirit." Full Review
“The wonderful ‘Sweeney Todd’ is getting a riveting revival by Britain’s Tooting Arts Club…This immersive approach works like black magic…Jeremy Secomb stalks the space, seeking his victims with murderous determination…Siobhán McCarthy offers a droll and irresistible Mrs. Lovett, his partner-in-crime and would-be paramour. Miraculously, a trio of musicians (piano, violin, clarinet) succeeds in bringing the complex, cacophonous score to vibrant life.” Full Review
“The excellent company work the crowd as is now the custom in immersive theater. Favorite songs as are beautifully done in juxtaposition with Todd’s machinations with the incomparable Mrs. Lovett. Siobhan McCarthy inhabits this role with a gorgeous voice and murderous glee…Under Bill Buckhurst’s direction, the play moves apace, and is a serious hoot. You are not likely to have more fun at any other play this season.” Full Review
“The result is quite extraordinary and shocking. ‘Sweeney Todd’ is a big musical, with a chorale and a booming orchestra. Somehow, director Bill Buckhurst has drastically reduced the size while keeping the show large. His version of Sondheim’s masterpiece lives up to all the great productions that have preceded it over 38 years…The cast is all top notch.” Full Review
“The Tooting Arts Club’s production has infused the murder-filled Stephen Sondheim show with even more infectious and thrilling energy than typical…Secomb’s Todd is perfectly menacing…Sondheim’s music and lyrics fit beautifully into the small space…Ultimately, 'Sweeney Todd' is a tricky show. Sure, it’s about a dark, depraved, and murderous man…But it’s also meant to be a comedy…The Tooting Arts Club nails it. Theatergoers should count on having a bloody good time.” Full Review
“This type of staging really draws the audience into the world of ‘Sweeney Todd.' Aside from the creative staging, the way in which the music was performed was terrific. Not only was it complementary to the small space itself, but it was also ideal for the production. It allowed the voices of the performers and the song lyrics to really shine…Overall, the cast was terrific…’Sweeney Todd’ is one of this season’s electrifying shows that can’t be missed." Full Review
"While Sondheim’s music and lyrics remain classic, the location’s intimate space allows for some flexible and astonishingly creative audience set-up…Secomb, who plays the protagonist Sweeney Todd, has a thunderous voice that pervades the theater and makes his character all the more intimidating…The performance is a wonderful revival and everything from the intimate space to its small cast and incredibly talented three-person orchestra make it a truly enjoyable and lively experience.” Full Review
See it if you want to be immersed within the show, or want to see a show as you've never seen before that will be talked about and remembered
Don't see it if you feel uncomfortable with actors being up close and potentially in your space, or you want to miss an unusual, superbly done show.
See it if You like Sondheim and a very unique staging style that Inhad never seen before.
Don't see it if Only if you can’t stand anything by Sondheim, I loved it and am glad 8got to see it.
See it if you can get a ticket! This incredible, intimate production is imaginative, and terrifying. Carloee Carmello is the best Mrs. Lovett EVER
Don't see it if you can't get a ticket! Or, I suppose, if you dislike an intimate theatrical experience. Front table seating is very close to the action!
See it if You love Sonheim. IF you are a fan of immersive theater and want a unique theatrical experience. It was a great time
Don't see it if You don't like dark plots or shows sung the whole way through. If murder depicted on stage upsets you
See it if You love Sondheim and you want to see the definitive staging of his masterpiece this is a do not miss show
Don't see it if You don't like Sondheim musicals and you have no hope of ever becoming a Sondheim lover other, than that there is no reason not to see this
See it if You want an intimate, interactive musical production of Sweeney that exchanges the Broadway scale for a more engaging performance.
Don't see it if You prefer traditional theater in a larger venue.
See it if You want a truly unique theatre experience. This show, though an older show, was given a whole new life with this production.
Don't see it if -You do not like Sondheim -You have problems with possible audience interaction.
See it if You want to experience a small, intimate, immersive production with a talented cast.
Don't see it if You aren’t a fan of immersive theatre and having to twist and turn to experience the show
See it if You like the movie or soundtrack. You like Sondheim. You like entertainment with a dark twist. You like small audiences. You like singing.
Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with murder. You don’t like small casts. You didn’t like shows with no dancing. You don’t like to sit next to people.
See it if Enjoy creative staging and great singing and acting! It's a "being part of the show" experience as the set is staged like a genuine pie shop
Don't see it if Don't like small intimate musicals, where u experience a group feeling.
See it if You love to be in the middle of the action and to hear remarkable actors sing inches away from you. If you enjoy environmental theatre
Don't see it if You are intimidated by being in the center of the show. You don't like dark intense shows.
Also Not since Nicolas Nickleby have I been this engaged in a show!
See it if This is unlike anything you've seen before. Actors are up close and personal. They do such a great job you forget there's hardly a stage!
Don't see it if you're not a fan of the story. This show is strictly for true theater fans who appreciate a refreshing and unique take on a classic musical.
See it if You want to see the most intense and downright scary show in town. The small theater puts you right in the middle of the terror.
Don't see it if You don't want to see a show about a bunch of people getting murdered.
See it if You like a true immersive theatre experience coupled with fantastic songs
Don't see it if The subject matter might be upsetting to you (it's about a man who kills people and a woman who bakes them into pies for sale)
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