Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond
production genre: Musical
region: Greater London | society: Geoids Musical Theatre (directory) | performance venue: Stockwell Playhouse
production dates: 02 May 2018 - 06 May 2018
who can audition?:
19 Jan 2018 - 7pm
20 Jan 2018 - 10am
See Audition Notice
An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to nineteenth century London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which, he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett’s luck sharply shifts when Todd’s thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up… and the carnage has only just begun.
Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway in 1979 and in the West End in 1980. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical and Olivier Award for Best New Musical. It has since had numerous revivals as well as a film adaptation.
This new production of Sweeney Todd will evoke the spirit and feel of the original play on which it is based and the source material which inspired it. Written in the 1840s, the characters of Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett first appeared in the Penny Dreadful ‘The String of Pearls’. Written at the height of Fleet Street’s influence on the print industry the paper was produced cheaply for the working classes as ‘sensationalist media’ that would often inspire acts of crime and violence. Christopher Bond’s play and Sondheim’s musical capture the melodrama of the original source and in its original production, evoked the wider ‘Beehive’ structure of Victorian society. In a contemporary world once again ruled by sensationalist media, the idea of ‘Fleet Street’ as a political influencer and oppressor is all the more relevant. The mechanics of the print industry in the 1860s and Sweeney Todd’s legacy as a creation of terror moulded by the social structure will be explored in a physical and relevant manner.