EBOS perform Sweeney Todd next weekBy Mike Pyle
October 29, 2010
Next week, EBOS presents its very own cookery show with pies from the demon barber of Fleet Street. Mike Pyle gets a short back and sides
The grim and gory story of a murderous barber is coming to Bracknell next week, although if you’re feeling peckish during the show, you might want to avoid the pies.
South Hill Park is staging a new production of Broadway and West End classic Sweeney Todd next week.
This musical, put on by the East Berkshire Operatic Society (EBOS), tells the well-known story of the Victorian ‘demon barber of Fleet Street’ who murders his victims, robs them and then gives their bodies to Mrs Lovett, his partner-in-crime, who turns their flesh into pies.
The show, which runs at South Hill Park’s Wilde Theatre from Monday, November 2, to Saturday, November 6, stars Michael Hawk as the titular barber and Laura Thain as Mrs Lovett.
The show’s director, Stuart Hayllor, says: “Hopefully the dark comedy in it will come out – EBOS is always very good at that.
“It’s great putting on Sweeney Todd because it’s one of those epic musicals which doesn’t get done too often. Todd and Lovett are brilliant – they’re like a twisted Punch and Judy show.
“It revolved around a big revenge story, which is brilliant.
“It’s a perfect Victorian melodrama.”
The character of Sweeney Todd dates back to a Victorian penny dreadful but a film was made about him in the 1930s, before the musical version was concocted in 1979.
In 2007, it was made into a Hollywood blockbuster, which starred Jonny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter and was directed by Tim Burton.
“The film was brilliant,” says Stuart. “It was very Hollywood, all the big numbers were there but there’s so much they couldn’t fit into it [all] that we are able to.
“One of the great things about the Wilde Theatre [in South Hill Park] is that it is quite claustrophobic. The audience will feel very close to the action and it will bring them into the horror.”
Being macabre, this isn’t a show for the faint at heart. Sweeney Todd prefers to dispose of his victims by slitting their throats with a razor blade and then dropping them through a trap door.
Stuart points out: “We have put a parental guidance warning on the flyers, it has got some violent content and I wouldn’t recommend it to young children.
“But it’s not done in a tasteless way, it’s done in good humour.”
-Shows take place at 7.30pm each night from Monday, November 2, to Saturday, November 6, with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.
Tickets, priced between £12 and £15 are available by calling the South Hill Park box office on (01344) 484123.