Musical by Stephen Sondheim with book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond, based on his play originally performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East from 2 May 1973 to 16 June 1973
Stephen Sondheim's musicals include A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Gypsy, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Merrily We Roll Along, Pacific Overtures, Saturday Night, Sunday in the Park with George, West Side Story and the 'compilation' show Side by Side by Sondheim.
Sweeney Todd - Original West End 1980
Previewed 28 June 1980, Opened 2 July 1980, Closed 15 November 1980 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
The cast featured Denis Quilley as 'Sweeney Todd' and Sheila Hancock as 'Mrs. Lovett' with Andrew C. Wadsworth as 'Anthony Hope', Mandy More as 'Johanna', Dilys Watling as 'Beggar Woman' and Austin Kent as 'Judge Turpin'. Directed by Harold Prince with movement by Larry Fuller, sets by Eugene Lee, costumes by Franne Lee and lighting by Ken Billington.
National Theatre London Revival 1993 - 1994
Previewed 22 May 1993, Opened 2 June 1993, Closed 19 October 1993 (in repertory) at the Cottesloe Theatre (now Dorfman)
Previewed 16 December 1993, Opened 17 December 1993, Closed 1 June 1994 (in repertory) at the Lyttelton Theatre
The original cast featured Alun Armstrong as 'Sweeney Todd', Julia McKenzie as 'Mrs. Lovett', Adrian Lester as 'Anthony Hope', Carol Starks as 'Johanna', Sheila Reid as 'Beggar Woman', Denis Quilley as 'Judge Turpin' and Barry James as 'Beadle Bamford'. Directed by Declan Donnellan with designs by Nick Ormerod and lighting by Mick Hughes. When the production transferred to the Lyttelton Theatre, Denis Quilley took over the role of 'Sweeney Todd' (which he had played in the original 1980 West End producion) and Christopher Benjamin joined the cast as 'Judge Turpin'. Directed by Declan Donnellan with designs by Nick Ormerod.
Concert London Revival 2000
Opened 13 February 2000, Closed 13 February 2000 at the Royal Festival Hall
20th Anniversary Concert: Two semi-staged concert performances (matinee and evening) in aid of Cruisaid. The cast featured Len Cariou as 'Sweeney Todd' and Judy Kaye as 'Mrs Lovett' with Davis Gaines as 'Anthony Hope', Annalene Beechey as 'Johanna', Pia Douwes as 'Beggar Woman', Mark Roper as 'Judge Turpin' and Neil Jenkins as 'Bamford Beadle'. Directed by Paul Kerryson with sets by Adrian Rees, costumes supervised by Jackie Holt and lighting by Jenny Caine.
Promenade London Revival 2000
Previewed 2 June 2000, Opened 7 June 2000, Closed 15 July 2000 at the Bridewell Theatre
A promenade performance just yards from the show's setting in Fleet Street. The cast featured Michael McLean as 'Sweeney Todd' and Jessica Martin as 'Mrs. Lovett' with Joshua Dallas as 'Anthony Hope', Sophie Millett as 'Johanna', Dianne Pilkington as 'Beggar Woman', Mark Inscoe as 'Judge Turpin' and Richard Winch as 'Beadle Bamford'. Conceived and directed by Richard James with co-direction and musical staging by Bill Deamer, designs by Ferdia Murphy, lighting by Chris Davey and sound by Nick Lidster.
Opera North London Revival 2002
Opened 7 June 2002, Closed 15 June 2002 at Sadler's Wells Theatre
Presented by Opera North. The cast featured Steven Page as 'Sweeney Todd' and Beverley Klein as 'Mrs Lovett' with Daniel Broad as 'Anthony Hope', Anna-Clare Monk as 'Johanna', Gillian Kirkpatrick as 'Beggar Woman', Malcolm Rivers as 'Judge Turpin' and Stephen Briggs as 'Bamford Beadle'. Directed by David McVicar with choreography by Jonathan Butterell, sets by Michael Vale, costumes by Kevin Knight, lighting by Paul Constable. This was the same production that was presented 'in concert' for one performance only on 30 March 1998 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with the same lead cast, apart from Lucy Schaufer as 'Johanna' and Malcolm Rivers as 'Judge Turpin'.
Royal Opera London Revival 2003 - 2004
Opened 15 December 2003, Closed 14 January 2004 (in repertory) at the Royal Opera House
Nine performances in repertory in a re-cast staging based on the 2002 Lyric Opera of Chicago production. The cast featured Thomas Allen as 'Sweeney Todd' and Felicity Palmer as 'Mrs. Lovett' with William Dazeley as 'Anthony Hope', Rebecca Evans as 'Johanna', Rosalind Plowright as 'Beggar Woman' and Jonathan Veira as 'Judge Turpin'. Directed by Neil Armfield with choreography by Denni Sayers, sets by Brian Thomson, costumes by Tess Schofield and lighting by Rory Dempster.
1st West End Revival Production 2004 - 2005
Previewed 22 July 2004, Opened 27 July 2004, Closed 9 October 2004 at the Trafalgar Studios
Transferred 13 October 2004, Closed 5 February 2005 at the Ambassadors Theatre
This new production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical is presented by the Watermill Theatre’s company of actor-musicians and comes into the West End following a successful regional tour. The original cast featured Paul Hegarty as 'Sweeney Todd' and Karen Mann as 'Mrs. Lovett' with David Ricardo-Pearce as 'Anthony Hope', Rebecca Jenkins as 'Johanna', Rebecca Jackson as 'Beggar Woman', Colin Wakefield as 'Judge Turpin', Michael Howcroft, Sam Kenyon and Stephanie Jacob. Directed and designed by John Doyle with musical arrangements by Sarah Travis, lighting by Richard G Jones and sound by Chris Full.
"Since 1979, Stephen Sondheim's musical journey to the dark side of early Victorian London has become a classic, performed both at the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House. But never has his miraculous music-theatre been presented more inventively than here, where the cast are not only good actors and strong singers, but also serve as their own orchestra. In recent years, working out of the tiny Watermill Theatre in Newbury, the director John Doyle and his arranger Sarah Travis have developed a distinct genre, using actor/ players, player/actors that, when it works, as it does triumphantly here, becomes a renewed form of melodrama. You might think that having to act with a cello or double-bass in your hands, or sing with flute, trumpet or clarinet at your lips, a hindrance. Far from it, for it has freed this horror story of male lust and revenge from the trappings of naturalism... Doyle creates new conventions, with the dead and living on stage, and each murder signalled by pouring a bucket of blood. The acting-singing-playing is not just a trick, for it makes the nine-strong cast a genuine ensemble. Sondheim's use of London street ballads is brought out beautifully, making believable the old myth of the murderous barber whose victims became pies... Sondheim's nightmare vision of capitalism as a choice of 'who gets eaten, and who gets to eat' comes across powerfully, but there is a strong sexual subtext in Sweeney's love for his daughter, Johanna." The Sunday Times
"Throat-slitter Sweeney Todd, demon barber of Fleet Street, was an 18th century fruitcake. A nutter. So in some ways last night he got the production he deserved. This is a mad version of his tale. It's confrontational and unsubtle. Think of the worst sort of university theatre - didactic, overstylised, raging against late adolescence - and you'll start to grasp how inhuman and crashingly obvious a night this is... The performers deliver robotic roles, faces rigid, eyes front. They're obviously a talented lot, for they also play the instruments to deliver Sondheim's discord-heavy score... The villain of the piece, though, is not Paul Hegarty's leather-jacketed Sweeney Todd. It is director John Doyle. This bully seems to have scorn for anyone in search of a story or dramatic development. If barber Todd doesn't get there first, this ghastly show will be sure to make you razor your gullet." The Daily Mail
Sweeney Todd in London at the Trafalgar Studios previewed from 22 July 2004, opened 27 July 2004 and closed on 9 October 2004, transferred to the Ambassadors Theatre from 13 October 2004 to 5 February 2005
Royal Festival Hall London Revival 2007
Opened 5 July 2007, Closed 7 July 2007 at the Royal Festival Hall
A semi-stage concert production. The cast featured Bryn Terfel as 'Sweeney Todd' and Maria Friedman as 'Mrs Lovett' with Daniel Boys as 'Anthony Hope', Emma Williams as 'Johanna', Rosemary Ashe as 'Beggar Woman', Philip Quast as 'Judge Turpin', Daniel Evans as 'Tobias', Steve Elias as 'Bamford Beadle' and Adrian Thompson as 'Pirelli' with the Maida Vale Singers and the Guildford School of Acting. Directed by David Freeman with movement by Denni Sayers, designs by Dan Potra and lighting by Ben Ormerod.
2nd West End Revival Production 2012
Previewed 10 March 2012, Opened 20 March 2012, Closed 22 September 2012 at the Adelphi Theatre
(no performances 30 July to 11 August)
A major revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd in London starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.
The cast for Sweeney Todd in London features Michael Ball in the title role and Imelda Staunton as 'Mrs Lovett' with Luke Brady as 'Anthony', Gillian Kirkpatrick as 'Beggar Woman', Lucy May Baker as 'Johanna', John Bowe as 'Judge Turpin', Peter Polycarpou as 'Beadle Bamford', James McConville as 'Tobias', Robert Burt as 'Pirelli' (except 2 to 27 July), Jason Manford as 'Pirello' (from 2 to 27 July only) and Simon Truby as 'Jonas Fogg'. It is directed by Jonathan Kent with choreography by Denni Sayers, designs by Anthony Ward, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Paul Groothuis. This production comes into London's West End following a critically acclaimed season at the Chichester Festival Theatre in East Sussex during October and November 2011. Michael Ball's recent London theatre credits include the musical Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre 2007) as well as his own concert performances (Haymarket Theatre 2004). Imelda Staunton's West End theatre credits include Joe Orton's comedy Entertaining Mr Sloane (Trafalgar Studios 2009), Michael Hastings' play Calico (Duke of York's Theatre 2004) and the Stephen Sondheim's musical Into the Woods (Phoenix Theatre 1990). PLEASE NOTE: Parental guidance is recommended - suggested age 12 plus.
"Stephen Sondheim's blood-curdling musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street is about revenge served hot - in succulent pies filled with the freshly ground flesh of anyone who crosses the path of ruthless Sweeney. Jonathan Kent's rich and well seasoned revival at Chichester slips down like a steaming steak and kidney. I'm already looking forward to second helpings when the show gets, as it surely must, a deserved transfer to the West End. It sounds all the notes - the black humour, the wit, the gore, the magnificent music and luscious lyricism - with terrific eloquence. It looks good too: blood spurts in great fountains; starched white aprons are splashed scarlet; and Sweeney's barber's chair collapses and shoots his victims down to the massive mincing machine below. Michael Ball might not seem like obvious casting for the role of Sweeney but he couldn't be better as this insatiable serial killer. Pale, clammy and glowering beneath a thatch of lank, dark hair, he spits out some of Sondheim's most nihilistic lines... As his accomplice, Mrs Lovett, Imelda Staunton is in show-stopping form, madly, hilariously and pathetically in lust with the unresponsive Sweeney." The Mail on Sunday
"In common with so many of Sweeney Todd's clients, I found the experience of keeping an appointment with him peculiarly draining. It pains me to have to say this, as I doubt that there has ever been a more impressive production of Stephen Sondheim's musical about the homicidal "demon barber" of Fleet Street than Jonathan Kent's, which has just transferred to the West End from the Chichester Festival Theatre. Michael Ball gives the title role everything he has got and Imelda Staunton proves a more than worthy foil. I can't fault, either, Anthony Ward's magnificent set or Nicholas Skilbeck's equally impressive orchestration. The problem with presenting the piece quite so perfectly is that it leaves audiences with little else to do but focus on its fundamental soullessness... It is also, in many respects, a very lazy piece of work. The way Sondheim shamelessly repeats its big numbers and tunes ad nauseam soon had one feeling as if one was drowning in its vast sea of sickly der-der, der-ders and dee-dum, dee-dums. The cardboard cut-out characters that Sondheim populates the stage with pose all but insurmountable challenges to the actors." The Sunday Telegraph
Sweeney Todd in London at the Adelphi Theatre previewed from 10 March 2012, opened on 20 March 2012 and closed on 22 September 2012 (no performances from 30 July to 11 August).
London Coliseum Revival 2015
Opened 30 March 2015, Closed 12 April 2015 at the London Coliseum
A semi-staged production of Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd in London starring Bryn Terfel, Emma Thompson and Philip Quast and presented in celebration of Sondheim's 85th birthday for thirteen performances only.
This production premiered by New York Philharmonic February 2014 and both Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson and international star Bryn Terfel reprise their roles as Mrs Lovett and Sweeney Todd in this concert staging following sell-out performances at New York’s Lincoln Center.
The cast features Bryn Terfel as 'Sweeney Todd' and Emma Thompson as 'Mrs Lovett' with Matthew Seadon-Young as 'Anthony Hope', Katie Hall as 'Johanna Barker', Philip Quast as 'Judge Turpin', Rosalie Craig as 'Beggar Woman', Jack North as 'Tobias Ragg', Alex Gaumond as 'Beadle Bamford' and John Owen-Jones as 'Pirelli'. Directed by Lonny Price with sets by James Noone costumes by Tracy Christensen, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound Nick Lidster.
Sweeney Todd at the London Coliseum from 30 March to 12 April 2015.