(Matt Wolf’s article appeared 2/29.)

The master of the modern musical adores London, a city he first visited in 1952, and it's safe to say that the capital more than repays Stephen Sondheim's affections. The veteran Broadway composer and lyricist rarely goes unrepresented on local stages, and it's the Chichester revival of Sweeney Todd, currently in the throes of transferring to the West End, that has brought him here for a long weekend.

He has been invited to attend the new cast recording of his 1979 musical, which famously begins with an exhortation to "attend the tale" of cannibalism, black comedy and revenge. The leads on this occasion are Michael Ball as the single-mindedly murderous Sweeney, and Imelda Staunton as Mrs Lovett, the Fleet Street barber's chirpy yet cunning accomplice.


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