Attend The Tale to find out how a Victorian penny dreadful became the subject of a play by Christopher Bond which caught the eye of one Stephen Sondheim. Taken with the tale of revenge on a grand and gruesome scale Sondheim started work on what would become the 1979 musical thriller Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd was directed by Harold Prince and would follow their ground-breaking work on Company (1970), Follies (1971) A Little Night Music (1973) and Pacific Overtures (1976). Returning to London after 15 years of exile, a revenge-driven Sweeney is out for blood. Judge Turpin stole his wife, his daughter and destroyed his life. Sweeney teams up with Mrs Lovett, who has a serious problem – she is in need of a supply of fresh meat for her … Read more
Yet another Sweeney Todd sets up shop in London this week on a vastly different scale to the intimate affair at Harrington’s Pie And Mash Shop on Shaftesbury Avenue. Starring Emma Thompson, Bryn Terfel, Matthew Seadon-Young, Katie Hall, Philip Quast, Jack North, Alex Gaumond, Rosalie Craig and John Owen-Jones, this production runs until April 12 at the London Colliseum. Tickets are still available for Sondheim’s masterpiece at the ENO. Photos by Tristram Kenton
Eschewing grandeur and wisely opting to follow that sensible motto, Less Is More, this transfer of the Tooting Arts Club production of late 2014 is a complete triumph in every way. It takes you by the throat and clasps you firmly in its thrall for its entire duration. It is shockingly powerful, brutally honest, raw and rich at the same time. A cast of eight, a band of three, clever but simple lighting, the potent power of blood and candles, economy in every department, a dedication to the text and the score: these are the ingredients of this absolute success.
Wheeler’s dialogue sparkled and fizzed, even in the mouths of those who were oddly or badly miscast. The sense of the quality of the literary glories of the book was most clear in the case of Joanna Riding’s faultless Countess. Every line was a winner. In the hands of Anna O’Byrne, Anne Ergerman was a complete triumph, the glittering centrepiece of Act One.
On the 10th September Twickenham Theatre launch their inaugural season with an intimate production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Olivier Award winner David Badella will play the razor-wielding madman Sweeney Todd with Sarah Ingram as his pie-making partner in crime, Mrs Lovett. Joining Badella and Ingram will be Shaun Chambers, Chris Coleman, Zoe Curlett, Genevieve Kingsford, Mark McKerracher, Mikaela Newton and Josh Tevendale. Twickenham Theatre’s Sweeney Todd will be Directed by Derek Anderson with Musical Direction by Benjamin Holder, Staging by Lee Crowley, Set Design by Rachel Stone, Costume Design by Olivia Ward and Sound Design by Joel Price. This spine chilling new production will turn Sondheim’s Victorian masterpiece into a claustrophobically close experience that will thrill and terrify. Sweeney Todd runs from 10 September to 4 October Book tickets for Sweeney Todd at Twickenham Theatre