Terfel, Friedman, Evans and Quast to Star in London Sweeney Todd

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13 Jun 2007

Maria Friedman with <i>Sweeney Todd</i> composer Stephen Sondheim.
Maria Friedman with Sweeney Todd composer Stephen Sondheim.
Photo by Aubrey Reuben
A concert version of Sweeney Todd will be presented next month to celebrate the reopening of the newly refurbished Royal Festival Hall.

Directed by David Freeman, the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler work will play four performances July 5-7. Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel will head the cast in the title role with Olivier Award winner Maria Friedman as the pie-baking Mrs. Lovett. The cast, according to the Southbank Centre's official website, will also include Adrian Thompson as Pirelli, Daniel Evans as Tobias, Steve Elias as The Beadle and Phillip Quast as Judge Turpin.

The production will also feature the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Stephen Barlow, the Maida Vale Singers and the chorus from the Guildford School of Acting.

Considered one of Sondheim's masterpieces, Sweeney Todd originally premiered at Broadway's Uris Theatre on Feb. 6, 1979, with a cast led by Len Cariou (Sweeney) and Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Lovett), who both nabbed Tony Awards for their roles. Harold Prince directed the production, which was awarded the 1979 Tony for Best Musical. A 1989 revival at Circle in the Square Theatre featured Beauty and the Beast's Beth Fowler as Mrs. Lovett and former Evita star Bob Gunton as the man who returns to London to avenge the death of his wife.

Another major production of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler work, which is based on a version of "Sweeney Todd" by Christopher Bond, was the Kennedy Center mounting, which starred Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski. A concert presentation of the musical, directed by Lonny Price and led by Tony winners George Hearn and Patti LuPone, confirmed the strength of Sondheim's score, which boasts such tunes as "The Worst Pies in London," "Johanna," "Pretty Women," "A Little Priest," "By the Sea" and "Not While I'm Around." Michael Cerveris and LuPone starred in the most recent Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd, which was directed by Tony winner John Doyle.



Show times are July 5 at 7:30 PM, July 6 at 7:30 PM and July 7 at 2:30 and 7:30 PM.

For ticket information visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk.