Sondheim's classic tale of murderous intent arrives at C too in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, home to many a murderous event itself. The Lincoln Company bring a shortened version of the show and give it their all.
Unfortunately their all isn’t enough to save this mixed production. From the start of the opening number ‘attend the tale’ it's obvious that some of the voices in the ensemble are not up to the standard required to give the score justice. The actors playing the lead roles of Sweeney and Mrs Lovett performed them well, especially Sweeney who gave a deep sense of menace to his portrayal. The other leads give it their best shot but in the case of Anthony Hope ,while his acting was superb, his vocals were often off key and very pitchy, especially when delivering the famous ‘Joanna’.
The cast were let down by a tech team who were clearly rushed when setting up the set, as during the show it turned into Carry On Sweeney. The bell the actors rang to enter the barber shop fell off during a dramatic moment and the washing line being used to hang the scarves of the those unfortunate souls dispatched by Sweeney also fell during at peak tension, leaving the lead actor clearly exasperated.
The reduced running time of 1 hour 20 minutes meant the bulk of Sondheim's work was edited out, so comedy numbers like those of Franco Pirelli were gone; this limited the light and shade aspect of the show. The cast tried hard with some very clunky set and direction and for that they should be applauded for delivering a rather squiffy tale of the demon barber of Fleet Street.