Leadership Team Blog 27th February – A Fantastic Reason to Feel Proud!

Many will not know, but my favourite productions is Sweeney Todd, having first seen the musical version at the Drury Lane Theatre, London with Denis Quilley & Sheila Hancock in the 1980’s.  This week I had the great privilege to experience the Castle Manor Academy production of the show, which did not disappoint – it was atmospheric, darkly humorous and captivating. If you are fortunate enough to be seeing the show this evening then the following review may contain spoilers.

The quality of this production was, in keeping with all Castle Manor productions, superb. The actors were word perfect and this could not have been easy given the complex script and the nature of the material.

Andre’s Anthony is charming and convincing, Lauren’s Mrs Lovett is funny and sinister, Kane as Tobias, was just as I always imagine him – a mixture of innocence and mischief.

I thoroughly enjoyed Oli’s Pirelli, as did the rest of the audience around me, Jack’s balding gentleman was equally funny  and Billy’s Jonas Fogg was brilliantly portrayed. Judge Turpin made my skin crawl – no offence, Harrison, you made him so believable!  The Beadle was played in a strong, commanding way by Darren and it was great to see Huw, Aimee and  Ben playing such an active, authentic role as Londoners.

My favourite song in the musical version of Sweeney is Johanna.  Our Johanna (Catherine) is eloquent and engaging (I was so glad that she survived at the end…. I think that she meets a sticky end in the musical version!)   What happens to the Beggar Woman in the story is poignant and haunting  – Vicky plays the role brilliantly.  The scene in the chair at the end was so spooky!

Finally, Sweeney!  Charlie’s Sweeney Todd was a mixture of gruff Londoner and cruel criminal.  He was superb (far better than I have seen professional actors in recent stage versions!!) portraying the confusion and inner rage of a man wronged so well.

The stage and technical crew created a set, which made the whole play work harmoniously. I love the chair, the trap door,  the oven and the arm carried in by Tobias at the end. Could I really smell fresh pies in the Drama Studio or was it the atmosphere created by the actors?!

Thank you all for such a great show and for making me a very proud Principal!

Congratulations to you all.

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