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Blood curdling show takes centre stage

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: October 24, 2013

  • Gordon Wainwright and Julie Herbert.

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A LEEK-BASED theatre company pulled off a chillingly good show this month.

Centre Stage, which has been running in the town for 15 years, presented their version of Sweeney Todd at Westwood First School last week.

Centre Stage veteran Gordon Wainwright did a cracking job at portraying the lead role of the sinister and deluded character of Sweeney Todd.

He handled the barbers blade with unsettling ease as he portrayed his part in this adaptation of this twisted tale of murder and cannibalism.

Mrs Lovett, Sweeny's partner in crime, was convincingly played by Judy Herbert, and between them, the pair created believable scenes that enthralled the audience.

Young actor Alistair Peet is definitely one to look out for in the future - he was marvellous at playing the jovial and niave Tobias Ragg, who becomes mad after being trapped in the cellar under Mrs Lovett's Pie Shop with Sweeney's victims.

John Mason played a wonderful lovestruck Anthony Hope alongside Abigail Walthall who played his love interest Johanna.

I could congratulate each and every cast member for their roles in Centre Stage's Sweeney Todd - as all played their parts well in telling the blood curdling story.

The ladies and gents who collectively narrated the story were sometimes as scary as Gordon in his role as Sweeney.

Thankfully (for someone who is not too keen on horror stories) there was the odd bit of comedy thrown in to the script - which alleviated audience members from sitting on the edge of their seats for the whole show.

However, this welcome comedy did not totally take away the seriousness of such a dark drama.

The simple set, which hardly changed throughout the performance, was skilfully designed to portray the different scenes of the murderous barber shop, Mrs Lovett's pie shop, and the asylum, to name but a few of the scenes.

Once again, the front of house members of Centre Stage made everyone welcome and also set the mood being in costume related to the show.

Well done Centre Stage!

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