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Saturday, August 9, 2014


(Jason Ralph in the title role & Charon Williams-Ros as Mrs Lovett)

KickstArt’s most challenging production to date opens for previews tonight at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

Stephen Sondheim’s iconic musical thriller Sweeney Todd follows KickstArt’s top class presentation of another dark and smouldering musical, Cabaret.

A regular penny-dreadful, this musical noir thriller by contemporary American musical-theatrical genius, Stephen Sondheim, features one of the greatest musical theatre scores ever written. It tells the bizarre tale of the outlandish urban legend of Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, who famously murdered his clients in his barber’s chair, after which his whacky neighbour, and partner-in-crime, Mrs Lovett, turned them into much sough-after meat-pies.

Sweeney Todd looks at what drives a man to this sort of extreme and considers what tragedy lies in his dark and mysterious past. This gripping, often hilarious, musical features such classic songs as Pretty Women; Johanna; Not While I’m Around; By the Sea and A Little Priest.

Sweeney Todd won both the Tony Award and the Olivier Award when it was first produced in 1979, and is now also a major motion picture by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Alan Rickman and Sacha Baron Cohen delicious as the sly fop Pirelli.

This KickstArt production stars Johannesburg musical theatre star, Jason Ralph in the title role, and local favourite, Charon Williams-Ros as Mrs. Lovett. Others in the cast include Lyle Buxton as the strapping young sailor, Anthony, and sweet-voiced Johannesburg soprano, Sanli Jooste, as his beloved Johanna. Bryan Hiles plays the simpleton, Tobias, well-loved Durban bass, Richard Salmon returns to the stage as the evil Judge Turpin, Danilo Antonelli (currently on scholarship at Regent’s College, London) makes a flamboyant Pirelli, Katy Moore plays the enigmatic Beggar Woman and Darren King the odious Beadle.

What promises to be a major theatrical event will be directed by Steven Stead, with set designs by Greg King, and costumes designs by Neil Stuart Harris. Musical direction by Shelley McLean and Justin Southey. Lighting is by Tina le Roux.

Sweeney Todd runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from August 8 to 24. Booking is through Computicket. For block bookings of 10 or more, or sold performances and early bird specials, contact Ailsa Windsor of Going Places: 0832502690 or It is recommended that no U15s see this production.