The residents of Fleet Street have arrived in town ahead of the Sydney Opera House season of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, with rehearsals now underway for the murderous musical opening on 22 July 2023.
A brilliant new cast has joined Ben Mingay, who has been in the titular role of Sweeney Todd since 2019, and Helpmann nominee Antoinette Halloran, reprising her role of Mrs Lovett, to perform this acclaimed production from Victorian Opera and New Zealand Opera for Sydneysiders for the very first time.
The 18-strong cast bring new blood to this timeless classic by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. It features Harry Targett (Hairspray) as Anthony Hope, Ashleigh Rubenach (An American In Paris) as Johanna, Dean Vince (Cinderella) as Judge Turpin, Jeremi Campese (Godspell) as Tobias Ragg, Kanen Breen reprising his role as Beadle Bamford (Melbourne Victorian Opera season), Margaret Trubiano (Into The Woods) as Beggar Woman, and Benjamin Rasheed (The Merry Widow) as Signor Pirelli.
The ensemble is completed by Rachael Cunningham, Jarrod Griffiths, Michaela Leisk, Katie McKee, Jessica Mills, Joshua Robson, Anna Stephens, Louis Vinciguerra, and Elias Wilson.
Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Performance Ebony Bott shared her excitement about the calibre of talent that have assembled for this production: “Sweeney Todd is such a compelling and complex work of the musical theatre canon, and exceptional performances are required of everyone on-stage,” she said.
“Seeing this impeccable group of performers come together in the rehearsal room has been a genuine delight. Our audiences are in for a true thrill later this month when we welcome this excellent cast to the stage at the Sydney Opera House,” said Ebony Bott.
With the original production winning the top prize for a musical at the Tony, Olivier, and Drama Desk Awards, and the current Broadway revival playing to critical and audience acclaim, the thrilling tale of a man driven to madness by loss endures around the globe.
This production is directed by Stuart Maunder AM, and features set and costume design by Roger Kirk AM, original lighting design by Philip Lethlean realised by Jason Morphett, and sound design by Jim Atkins. The orchestra under the direction of Simon Holt will bring Sondheim’s evocative score to life.
There once was a barber who had it all; a happy life, a beautiful wife – until it all ended in bitter strife. The barber Benjamin Barker loses it all in one savage act of treachery. Now known as Sweeney Todd, he’s slicing his way through Victorian London in search of vengeance with his twisted baker-in-crime, Mrs. Lovett, by his side.
For those seeking a truly delicious experience at the theatre, the season is complemented by two food and beverage offerings for an unforgettable visit to the barber’s chair.
Spills and Thrills bundles a private tour of the Opera House with a Sweeney Todd-inspired three course dinner and wine pairings, hosted in an intimate space rarely accessed by the public.
For a pre-theatre indulgence with bite, Mrs Lovett’s Pie Tea offers delectable morsels of pies, finger sandwiches, and sweet treats, served up with hot mulled tea in the foyer to satiate a ravenous appetite.
So come on in if you dare. This production is as close as you’ll want to get to London’s most notorious serial killer.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Drama Theatre – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Season: 22 July – 27 August 2023
Information and Bookings: www.sydneyoperahouse.com
Image: Antoinette Halloran and Ben Mingay star in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – photo by Daniel Boud