Hugh Maynard is extremely handsome and charismatic off stage but on stage required to bury his charm beneath Todd’s persistently dour and single-minded revenge against Judge Turpin. His performance is proudly and powerfully sung.
For much as I’d love us to be in a place where it doesn’t matter, it still feels important to note that Hugh Maynard is the first black man to play the role of Sweeney Todd professionally in the UK. And from his very first utterance, you’re left in no doubt whatsoever that he’s more than up to the task.
Trevor Nunn’s production of Volpone at the RSC’s Swan sagely contends that the sins of greed and avarice are timeless. With Ben Jonson’s 17th century comedy set squarely in a modern Venice, if some of Ranjit Bolt’s occasional script revisions are schoolboy clumsy (silly references to Greece and the Euro pop up), they can be forgiven in a plot in which incredible complexities may not have weathered the test of time as much as the brilliant observation of the flawed human condition that makes this play so entertaining.