The small, intimate space of Harrington pie shop in Tooting is a perfectly suitable venue for the Sondheim musical set in a London pie shop. And with the pre-show and interval drinks in the barbershop opposite, one can hardly find more appropriate venues for a site specific performance. The overused description of a production being site specific can be gimmicky but not this. Produced by Tooting Arts Club, this is a beautifully realised, well acted and sung production that feels like the definitive version of the work. The smell of baked pie, shaving cream and the menace of the gleaming, sharp razor blade waved around inches from the audience gives this tuneful and entertaining musical an added dimension. The direction by Bill Buckhurst utilised the space perfectly and makes clever use of the dominating staircase and tables in between the audience. The logistic of actors going on and off stage is well thought out and the simple yet atmospheric lighting elevates this the production further.
Among the dark theme of the murderous Sweeney Todd, the humour stands out, especially Siobhan McCarthy with her devious and desperate Mrs Lovett. Jeremy Secomb’s Todd is suitably demented and with a strong singing voice that truly resonant in this small space. Nadim Naaman and Grace Chapman make the perfect duo as the young lover Anthony and Johanna and Joseph Taylor has the youthful charm as Tobias. One very slight complaint is the inability to get a programme after the performance though one was promised to be sent so there is that pleasure to look forward to from this outstanding site specific musical.