Kabosh Theatre, Todd! - The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street

Review in Issue 16-2 | Summer 2004

A Singular Establishment for gents to get the chop!

The off-stage door opened and the cast burst into harmonised singing: from that moment it was clear that this was a theatrical experience to relish. Appropriate to its subject, the presentation was a Victorian burlesque, stylised in the musical tradition but infused with contemporary physical theatre and dance techniques. All areas of the production were exemplary. The cast proved multi-talented, and their characterisation clean and witty (as was much of the text they inspired during rehearsals, where the piece was created collaboratively).

Equally, their voice work was vigorous, as necessary for a show featuring almost constant singing, and they provided aural colour also, through their use of a violin, cello and double bass. The latter were also employed for visual effect, as director Karl Wallace used theatrical tableaux as a foundation to the piece, drawing together his cast's excellent physical skills (Diane O'Keefe deserves particular mention), the quirky costume design (which recalled the period while also clowning-up appearances), and the excellent set and lighting design. The latter, by Amy Smyth painted the luscious images with light, picking out the details of costume and characterisation, and leaving us with a rich final image. Music, by Conor Mitchell, was of course central and attention was paid to every detail, so that silence allowed us to hear the subtle swish underlining the use of red ribbons for the murders. Highly recommended; had it been possible, I would have gone again immediately the following night.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Mar 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-2
p. 25