Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel
The English National Opera and The Gradelinnit Company have announced their first West End musical production will be a semi-staged version of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street which will run at the London Coliseum for 13 performances between 30 March and 12 April 2015.
The production will reunite Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and British actress Emma Thompson in the lead roles of Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett, who recently starred in a concert production of the musical at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Full casting for the production is still to be announced.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will be directed by Lonny Price and feature The ENO orchestra, conducted by David Charles Abell, with orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick.
The musical features a score by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond. It received its world premiere at the Uris Theatre on Broadway in March 1979, directed by Harold Prince, starring Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. The show received eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score.
Set in Victorian London, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street tells the story of the eponymous barber who seeks vengeance on what he sees as a merciless world by murdering his customers and, with the help of his landlady, the romantically inclined Mrs. Lovett, bakes their bodies into meat pies, which are fed to London's avid and unknowing populace.
Emma Thompson will return to the London stage for the first time in 25 years, having last performed in the West End in 1989 in 'Look Back In Anger', directed by Judi Dench. She is most known for her work on film, including her 1992 portrayal of Margaret Schlegel in 'Howards End' which earned her numerous Best Actress awards including the BAFTA, the Golden Globe and the Academy Award. Most recently she starred as P.L. Travers in Disney's feature film 'Saving Mr. Banks'.
Bryn Terfel has performed in all the great opera houses in the world, and is especially recognised for his portrayals of Wotan in Wagners 'Ring Cycle' which he has most recently performed at The Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House, and the title roles in Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro' and Verdi's 'Falstaff'. He sang the title role in Sweeney Todd in 2002 with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and again at the South Bank Centre in 2007.
In partnership with English National Opera the GradeLinnit Company will develop new productions of the finest musicals, harnessing the producing and technical teams at ENO and the commercial expertise of Grade and Linnit to produce world class music theatre in London. Further productions to be staged as part of this partnership will be announced in due course.
Tickets to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will go on general sale on Tuesday 23 September from 10am.