Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 1979 musical thriller with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Many regard it as Sondheim’s masterpiece and this is the first time that Bros have taken it on.
Originally set in Victorian London, it tells the tale of a vengeful barber on the hunt for the crooked Judge who transported him to Australia for a crime he didn’t commit so he could make moves on Sweeney’s wife.
And while it might have been set in the 1850s, the show makes the point that it’s as relevant now as it might have been back then, with hidden Sweeneys walking among us.
It’s this idea we’d like to explore with our production.
Still placing it in London, our aim is to give the show its own very strong visual identify and have it set in a non-specific time period giving nods towards historical grime and modern day urban chic. Think a cross between Peaky Blinders meets Shoreditch.
We’ve got a great team, all of whom have worked together before on the likes of Musical of Musicals (The Musical), A Little Night Music and numerous other BROS productions and we’re dead excited.
We’ll continue to update this page as we move closer to the presentation, workshops and auditions (all in early June) but should you have any questions in the meantime please contact the Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cast & Creative
|Musical Director||Nic Luker|
Characters & Parts
Baritone or Bass-Baritone
Brooding, locked down, cunningly charismatic and internal. An eruption of anger not too far under the surface but always managed. The audience has to empathise with our anti-hero so not too shouty or morose.
Contralto or Mezzo-Soprano
Talkative, hyper, scheming and in love with Sweeney. Lots of energy required and laughs very much available. We don’t want a pantomine dame though or Lovett by numbers so the challenge will be to get the humour across and also the fragility.
Naïve sailor who befriends Sweeney at sea and quickly falls for his daughter Johanna. A gentle soul but also someone with enough steel to take risks to get the girl and stand up to the judge and beadle in the process.
Sweeney’s Daughter, claimed by Judge Turpin as his ward. Interesting character arc from innocent to more in control. Must have a voice to die for and acting skills to build the confidence of the character as the show goes on.
Baritone or Bass
Corrupt Judge, presenting himself as upstanding to the community but utterly corrupt and manipulating all underpinned with self-loathing. Great part this to bring across the complexity of a man in power.
Judge’s fixer, immersed in his own limited power. Obsequious, sycophantic to his Master and completely lost in his own ego with no real sense of who he really is. The audience should find this character completely unlikeable with no redeeming qualities.
Sweeney’s wife, homeless and walking the streets, propositioning men and generally making a nuisance of herself. This is a tough character to play. Too much old crone and the audience won’t care enough about her at the end. Too much vulnerability and the gaff will be blown early on. A great chance to humanise a character often played simply as a mad woman.
The over-the-top Italian barber who turns out to be Sweeney’s Irish nemesis and the first to meet his maker. Lots of flamboyance initially followed by a more darkly manipulative tone. Clearly needs someone who can voice accents well but can also switch from comedy to more understated menace.
Tenor or Boy Soprano
Simpleton assistant to Pirelli who perhaps is not as stupid as he first appears. Inadvisably loyal to both Pirelli and Lovett in his own way but makes a bold choice at the end of the show to bring the curtain down. The audience should go from ahh to arrgghh in the space of just over 2 hours.
There is loads to for the Ensemble to do in this show. From setting the mood in the opening number to slamming the message home at the close, there are also great group numbers throughout such as Pirelli’s Elixir, God That’s Good and City on Fire.