Of all the diabolical villains arising from the Victorian period that produced "Frankensten" and "The Murder in the Red Barn", few had more homely appeal than the demon barber of Fleet Street. His remarkable mechanical chair disposed of its occupants as decisively as Sing Sing's "hot squat". Such is the atmosphere of the Delta Upsilon's present revival.
While the orchestra plays appropriate theme songs Sweeney Todd (R. B. Clement '32) pursues his business of murder while Mrs. Lovett (R. T. Frescoln '34), next-door bakeshop proprietress, manufactures tuppenny pies out of the corpses. Mark Ingestrie (W. McM. Heyl '33) is the sailor lad in love with demure Johanna Oakley (C. J. Fleming '33). It is Mark's pearls which arouse the avarice of the Fleet Street razor wielder and finally bring about his apparent demise via his own unholy chair. The Playgoer cannot assay to conduct his readers through the plot of a Victorian melodrama, but they may rest assured that there is action and bloodshed galore.
The production has been lavishly done with the seven scenes and many costumes unusually fine for an amateur performance. Make-up is so expert that spectators will be forced to consult the program in order to identify friends in the cast. At the graduate performance given last night the length of the play and difficulty of shifting scenes indicated that deletions will be made, perhaps several scenes put on without benefit of special background in order to improve the time element.
The Playgoer has always believed that all amateur productions should be melodramas. "Sweeney Todd" richly fulfills this requirement. The crime is hideous, the costumes are beautiful and the mechanical barber's chair rivals its legendary model in promptness and efficiency.
The performance Friday night will start at 8.30 o'clock and will be followed by dancing to Cliff Mix's 12-piece orchestra which will operate until 3 in the morning. Saturday the performance is scheduled for 8 o'clock and informal dancing will follow.