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Sweeney Todd revisited – and revised

I wonder if I will ever perform centre stage at the London Palladium again? I doubt it, so, courtesy of the BBC, here is the full excerpt from the 1994 Olivier Awards, when the National Theatre’s production by Declan Donnellan cleaned up.

Now, in January 2023, Attend the Tale of Sweeney Todd, the opening number, made the cut in a Sondheim retrospective compilation for BBC4 – though sadly without Julia McKenzie as Mrs Lovett attempting to sell ‘a customer’ the Worst Pies in London which followed.

We are are in exalted company! Continue reading


Notwithstanding a career singing on the stage, I’m proud to say my equinoctial-environmental and orbital-cycling efforts have been recognised with a Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society. In truth, music never extinguished my curiosity for the world we live in: Geography was my first love at school, my degree subject, and my initial career was as elbow-patched teacher (of Hugh Grant, among others) at Latymer Upper School Hammersmith. Continue reading

Sweeney Todd revisited

A month ago I was cornered by Richard Williams and Joanna MacGregor at a mutual friend’s party. “Come to Dartington and do Sweeney Todd!” I havered…but said yes. After all, there were fully five four days of rehearsal for it to come flooding back!

I’m so glad I did for somehow we achieved the impossible under Richard’s less-is-more direction. Joanna sets the tone at Dartington by performing (brilliantly) most evenings in completely different repertoire. Impossible is not an option. Continue reading

Fake Sourdough

I am congenitally incapable of throwing anything away, and sourdough baking requires you to replenish your ‘mother’ starter regularly (FEEEED me!), after discarding some of it. Where? Down the drain? Not possible. Then again, time pressure means it’s not possible to make a sourdough loaf more than once every ten days. Solution: Fake (it’s all the rage) sourdough… Continue reading