Sweeney Todd, Starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, Begins at West End's Adelphi March 10
By Mark Shenton
Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton begin performances in Sweeney Todd at the West End's Adelphi Theatre March 10, reprising the roles they previously played in the production at Chichester Festival Theatre last October; opening night is March 20.
The musical thriller is directed by Jonathan Kent, whose Broadway credits include Medea with Diana Rigg and Hamlet with Ralph Fiennes as well as Man of La Mancha and Faith Healer. It is designed by Anthony Ward.
The cast also includes John Bowe (Judge Turpin), Peter Polycarpou (Beadle Bamford), Robert Burt (Pirelli), Gillian Kirkpatrick (Beggar Woman), Lucy May Barker (Johanna), Luke Brady (Anthony), James McConville (Tobias) and Simeon Truby (Jonas Fogg), with an ensemble that includes Valda Aviks, Will Barratt, Josie Benson, Emily Bull, John Coates, Daniel Graham, Robine Landi, Tim Morgan, Aoife Nally, Adam Pearce, Wendy Somerville, Kerry Washington and Annabelle Williams.
The production is designed by Anthony Ward and choreographed by Denni Sayers with lighting design by Mark Henderson. The musical director is Nicholas Skilbeck, with orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick and sound design by Paul Groothuis.
Sweeney Todd, which features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond, has previously been produced in London in a re-staging of Hal Prince's original Broadway production at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and in new productions at the National Theatre, Royal Opera House and Trafalgar Studios, amongst others. The latter, directed by John Doyle, subsequently transferred to Broadway.
Ball, who plays the title role, has previously appeared in the West End premiere of Sondheim's Passion, and was most recently seen on the London stage as the Olivier Award-winning star of Hairspray. He has also originated leading roles in the West End in Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Aspects of Love (subsequently on Broadway) and taken over roles in The Woman in White and The Phantom of the Opera. He made his English National Opera debut as Hajj/Poet in Kismet and in 2005 he made his debut with the New York City Opera as Reginald Bunthrone in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience. He co-produced Chichester Festival 2010's West End transfer of Love Story. He also has a successful recording career, and released his eighteenth album, "Heroes," and completed a nationwide tour last year.
Staunton, who Mrs. Lovett, has previously appeared in the West End premiere of Sondheim's Into the Woods, where she played the Baker's Wife. Other musicals include the National's production of Guys and Dolls (as Miss Adelaide); she has also done a cabaret season as part of the Divas at the Donmar series at the Donmar Warehouse. Other recent theatre credits include A Delicate Balance at the Almeida Theatre and a West End production of Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Film credits include the "Harry Potter series," "Taking Woodstock" and the title role in "Vera Drake," for which she received BAFTA, European Film and Venice Film Festival Awards, as well as an Oscar nomination. Television credits include "Psychoville" and "Cranford."
To book tickets contact the box office on 0844 811 0053, or visit www.sweeneytoddwestend.com.
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