Look Out it's the Sweeney (Todd)

Sweeney Todd

Curtain Call Theatre Company.

Tuesday 25th-Saturday 29th


Formerly known as the Shropshire Youth Drama Group, Curtain Call theatre was born in 2009. One thing one might be inclined to say is initially the standard of the performers and chorus was incredibly high and the show Sweeney Todd, All two and a quarter hours of it, is a highly ambitious project full of challenge for the well appointed cast.

All of the principals were great but Sweeney and Toby were superb; both singing well and immersing deep into their characters. Then we had an absolute show stopping performance from Mrs. Lovett the evil pie maker, one sees that the challenges wer taken and run with, and the result was victory.

Firstly, apart from congratulating the cast and the massive amounts of work that they have put in one might say that designer, costumier and make up departments all did their incredible work. Again, I ask myself if I am really watching an amateur performance? Shrewsbury has a fine vein of talent here with aspirational performers who may go on to greater things, one always hopes so, and one is always proud of the town when someone gains their fame but never forgets their roots, here in the county town of Shropshire!

So, I must point out there were a couple of areas of concern that usually presents on a first night.

 The lighting engineer did a marvellous job but the responsibilities the sound crew had to handle, sometimes got the better and one heard an occasional trickle of feedback and sometimes the balances and levels were wrong, and the music sometimes destroyed destroyed any chance of the songs being heard to their best ability.

To combat this one might suggest a serious amount of top and tailing is performed prior to the next performance and although the room will be empty top and tail as though it was a full show. Top and tailing is the real hard work of every character giving their top range and their bottom range in each song they partake in, so that the desk can be marked up and cued. Like one alluded to already it is hard work but it worth the time it takes. One was also distracted by the assumed conventions of singers singing different words to each other and yet at the same time. This device didn’t work as planned and confusion became the result.

The use of a Greek chorus was effective, but they must always remain in mic range, sometimes they were difficult to hear. Also, the temper tantrums felt uneasy and at times uncontrolled the shouting maybe too loud. One mustn’t make the audience uncomfortable. Finally, the music was sometimes just too loud.

But that is to be understood and if that was all the criticism that I had ever earned on my first nights I would be relatively satisfied, none of what has been said can’t be fixed so the first night is always a useful barometer to see where the show is and where it could be. However, there isn’t too much to worry about at all.

In summary this is a nice piece of theatre put together by a talented and committed cast and crew and this reviewer is looking forward excitedly at what they may bring to us next time.

This is a Three and a Half Star Review

Sofia Lewis.



Sofia Lewis Sofia Lewis
For many years Sofia wrote here under her male name Owen J. Lewis. She is now mostly writing under her own name of Sofia Lewis. Sofia, who worked on independent radio for over ten years, lives in Shrewsbury and writes plays. She has over 15 titles published and her plays are performed all over the world. She is especially popular in America. Her poetry is also often noted and she writes reams of it most weeks. Since graduating in theatre in 1997 Sofia has been an Actor, Filmmaker, and a Secondary School Teacher. Reviewing theatre is something she thoroughly enjoys and she loves to see great theatre. As a musician Sofia is known throughout the UK she is a folk singer, and is often seen or heard around her native county singing and having fun. Sofia has contributed to loveshrewsbury.com for over a decade and enjoys sharing her views on theatre. Sofia has one daughter and grew up in Church Stretton.

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