(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 1/13.)

It sounds improbable: a musical thriller about a serial killer. But Sondheim did it in Sweeney Todd. And, although this version of Bret Easton Ellis's notorious 1991 bestseller, is a very different bucket of blood, it works superbly thanks to Rupert Goold's stylish production, Duncan Sheik's music and lyrics and Matt Smith's beautifully defined performance as the deluded hero.

Credit also belongs to the book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa which captures the satire at the heart of the dark, Dostoyevskian story.

In Easton Ellis's novel the hero, Patrick Bateman, is a 26-year-old Wall Street investment banker who eventually realises that "surface, surface, surface was all that anyone found meaning in".


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