London Sweeney Todd on the Move

News   London Sweeney Todd on the Move Having slashed its way from Newbury’s 216-seat Watermill Theatre to London’s newly created 400-seat Trafalgar Studios, the Watermill Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd is due to slay audiences elsewhere.

Producer Adam Kenwright is so pleased with the good business it’s doing, he told Variety Magazine that it will move to the nearby New Ambassadors. The Watermill, which in recent years has become an important regional producing house, has previously sent The Gondoliers and Rose Rage to the capital. As was the case with Gondoliers, the production of Sweeney employs a cast of actor-musicians directed by John Doyle, who also designs.

The nine cast members include Paul Hegarty as Sweeney, Karen Mann as Mrs. Lovett, Michael Howcroft as Beadle, Rebecca Jackson as the Beggar Woman, Stephanie Jacob as Pirelli, Rebecca Jenkins as Johanna, Sam Kenyon as Tobias, David Ricardo-Pearce as Anthony and Colin Wakefield as the Judge. Arrangements and musical direction are by Sarah Travis with lighting by Richard G.Jones. The production opened in February 2004 at the Watermill to mark the 25th anniversary of Sweeney Todd and has since completed a national tour. It’s produced in London by Kenwright, the Ambassador Theatre Group and Maidstone Productions.

Todd ends its Trafalgar run on Oct. 9, and will sharpen its cutting edge for the Ambassadors secure in the knowledge that it has ready to move into profit. The change of venue could certainly help the balance sheet, since the Trafalgar has 15 percent fewer seats than the Ambassadors’s 425 – meaning plenty more punters can “attend the tale”.