Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street review

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Review - Broadway musical

Thoroughly revised by the authors-creators urban legend from the category of stories about Jack the Ripper has acquired a completely different sound on the stage. A transcription of a serious play in the musical did not make its content more superficial as it might seem at first. Many awards prove that even quite cruel and bloody horror, accompanied by musical themes, having a strong story-basis and not deprived of deep morality, can be worthy of the highest praises and hot spectator interest in the qualitative and serious approach to the play.

Interestingly that for the transposition of the play into a musical it did not require too much money. The cost of staging paid off soon after the product arrived to be shown to the audience. The gloomy entourage of the London streets in the midst of the XIX and the availability of conversational cues do ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ more like a serious drama performance, and even more – as a real opera production. Stephen Sondheim called his creation ‘gloomy operetta’. The structure of the play and the music is not too exemplified in intricacy, but by themes of love and revenge, it was very similar to the operetta genre. Serious detective-thriller line separates it from the concept of the operetta itself, and rivers of blood with the presence of many corpses turn it into a real horror show. Thus, this theatrical has become the bloodiest in the history of this genre.

So this is a serious dramatic work, forcing the audience to think about the nature of irrationality of evil. Once stepped on the path of revenge, it is impossible to find peace. It is about what a person can do and ready for to silence the voices of own conscience.

The histrionics does not contain any sentimental consolation. The viewer is not given hope of justice in the world. Authorities are despotic, ordinary people have no rights. Devil's forces almost omnipotent. And that is why it is so important not to give them a place in your heart.

It is amusing that a whole story is based on real events! And the fact that it is quite moralistic due to successful transposition on the script, makes it truly worthy product among the world's best musicals. End of story has a visual reference to the iconography of the lamentation of Christ.

Of course, this product is not suitable for young beholders. And even less it is for those who have decided to amuse oneself. But for those who used to think of the musical genre as of not too serious, pure entertainment – they are awaited by change of their beliefs. In the play, there is something to think about, and after watching, it leaves a long and viscous aftertaste, making us yet again to go back to the sad story of a barber from Flint Street, Sweeney Todd.
Last Update:July, 13th 2016

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