Sweeney Todd, 88 London Road



Barber Sweeney Todd returns to London after 15 years of exile, in order to take revenge on the corrupt  judge who banished him from the city. He conspires with Mrs Lovett, a local baker, who is in desperate need of fresh meat for her pies.

The production team at 88 London Road is thrilled to be bringing this iconic Sondheim musical to Brighton. We hope you like your meat pies bloody.


‘At one point, Todd and Turpin sing a duet, when the barber has the judge in his chair, and I was still humming ‘Pretty Women’ to myself for most of the next day – I’m humming it again as I write this.’

For me, the story revolves around three different types of morality.

Sweeny Todd is a very moral person; but as we’ve seen, he’s been driven to the end of his tether, and now he despises humanity in general.

Mrs Lovett, by contrast, is a totally amoral person. She really has no conscience at all

Judge Turpin is a completely immoral person. He’s quite prepared to destroy a man’s family to satisfy his lust, and now he’s obsessed by Johannah, who’s by this time a young woman. But he’s not simply a caricature evil villain – the flagellation scene gives him depth as a character; shows that he recognises that his passions are wrong, and he’s trying to punish himself for succumbing to them.

Interestingly, this scene is often cut from productions of ‘Sweeney Todd’ – it was considered too strong for American audiences in the original Broadway show – but Conor Baum has wisely included it here. It’s immensely powerful – Stuart Simons is a strongly built actor; majestic, his imperious face bearded and his eyebrows arched, and with sleek greying hair above a high forehead. Stripped to the waist, on his knees, he’s watching Johannah through a keyhole

“The light behind your window
It penetrates your gown
Johannah Johannah
I see the sun through your …
Deliver me

Slashing himself over and over across the bare back with a cat o’ nine tails.  There’s the possibility, of course, that the self-administered whipping actually adds to the excitement of ogling Johannah’s body. – Fringe Review