Comedian Jason Manford cast in Sweeney Todd 2 to 27 July

Comedian Jason Manford joins cast of Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, as “Italian” barber Pirelli from 2 to 27 July 2012, covering for Robert Burt, who is scheduled to sing at Glyndebourne Festival 2012.

Perhaps best known for his work as a stand-up comedian, as seen on Live at the Apollo (BBC1) and as team captain on panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats (Channel 4), Manford showcased his opera-singing skills in 2011, winning ITV’s Born to Shine.

Jason Manford says: “I’m excited to be making my musical theatre debut in London’s West End. It’s an absolute honour to join legendary actors Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton as well as such a bloody brilliant company of performers. I'm really excited to perform in one of Stephen Sondheim’s most thrilling and funny shows and anyone that's wondering what a comedian is doing singing in the West End should remember that once upon a time Frank Spencer became the Phantom - this is the West End, where anything can happen!”

Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler, from an adaptation by Christopher Bond.

The Chichester Festival production transferred to London's Adelphi Theatre opening on 20 Mar 2012, following previews from 10 Mar - running to 22 Sep 2012.

Directed by Jonathan Kent, designed by Anthony Ward, produced by Playful Productions, Robert G. Bartner, Old Vic Productions and Matthew Mitchell, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Paul Groothuis, choreography by Denni Sayers, musical direction by Nicholas Skilbeck, with orchestration by Jonathan Tunick.

Cast includes Michael Ball (Sweeney Todd), Imelda Staunton (Mrs Lovett).

Set amongst London’s seedy side streets and laced with Sondheim’s characteristically wit and dark humour, the musical depicts Sweeney Todd’s savage quest for justice and retribution after years of false imprisonment. Aided and abetted by the pie-shop owner, Mrs Lovett, he sets out to avenge the wrongs done to him and his family. Combining a brutal sensibility with elements of English music hall, the production offers a fascinating portrait of a man driven to madness by injustice.

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