You are invited to join us in the rank and dank streets of Victorian London in this Penny Dreadful adaptation of the late, great Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Join the most infamous barber of all time in his bloody quest for vengeance as you’re dragged by the heels through London’s rat-ridden streets underscored by a full orchestra playing one of the most intricate and celebrated musical theatre scores of all time.

There’s a hole in the world like a big black pit, and it’s filled with people who are filled with s**t, and the vermin of the world inhabit it… but not for long!

 

SWEENEY TODD
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

A Musical Thriller

Music and Lyrics by
STEPHEN SONDHEIM

Book by
HUGH WHEELER

From an Adaptation by CHRISTOPHER BOND

Originally Directed on Broadway by HAROLD PRINCE

Orchestrations by JONATHAN TUNICK

Originally produced on Broadway by Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson, Martin Richards
in association with Dean and Judy Manos.

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe)
All authorised performance materials are also supplied by MTI Europe.
www.mtishows.co.uk

Head of Musical Theatre

We are delighted to welcome you to the third and final show of the 2021/2022 BA Musical Theatre season. Hot on the heels of their digital showcase, this ambitious production offers further opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements of our students, alongside the incredible work of students on our BA Production Arts and Design, and BA Production Technology and Management programmes.

Sweeney Todd boasts one of Sondheim’s most challenging scores and this is being realised through the brilliant commitment of a 21-piece band – all musicians studying here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

This is surely the most wonderful example of creative collaboration that sits at the heart of everything we do. I would like to personally extend my thanks and respect to the many students who are contributing to this production; and, of course, to the mighty professionals within our creative and production teams, who have provided such invaluable support and opportunities for all involved.

Please enjoy.

Jane Hensey (she/her)
Head of Musical Theatre
J.Hensey@rcs.ac.uk


Director ‘s Note

It is with honour that I have directed Sondheim’s masterpiece in the year of his passing. Working through this absolute opus, has, daily, reminded me and the company of his majesty. We will never, ever, see his like again. Every incidental moment in the score is thought through with the master-craftsmanship of a director, an actor, a dramaturg, a maestro and a true chimera of theatre. It is the first piece of Sondheim that I’ve directed and it is absolutely life-changing – Greek Tragedy, Opera, Shakespeare and Musical Theatre, baked into a gorgeous, disgusting and delicious pie.

With the work’s majesty came a side dish of problematic terminology. I’d like to thank the company for challenging the piece’s comparison of ‘paleness’ or ‘whiteness’ with beauty and as a company, I’d also like to state that though we have kept the flippant misuse of the word ‘slave’ in one instance, we recognise that although this sadly may be what we expect from the mouth of a sinister bigot like the Judge, we will do better than to misuse too problematic a term in our own parlance, practice and creation.

I’d like our audience to know that we, the company, recognise how disgustingly mental health is referred to in this Victorian Penny Dreadful. The beliefs and opinions of the principal characters in the piece regarding the minds of those who are vulnerable, are not those of our own and from the future, we invite you to look back at them, as we have, with shame and disgust. Though mental health is still deeply mistreated in our world, I am glad that it is not treated with the appalling contempt of the Asylum depicted in the work.

I would like to celebrate and deeply acknowledge the work of the designers on this piece, particularly the work of Rachael Orr, Jack McLean and Laura Martin – who have given birth to the most complex, decadent and disarming London I could have imagined – translating my vision into their own phenomenal creativity and craft. As far as I’m concerned, any of the work we have created as an ensemble, is a gift back to you three – who have, from start to finish, pioneered for our collective vision to be realised.

Thanks also to my phenomenal core team in the rehearsal room, my brilliant stage management squad, directorate and my astonishing maestra Sarah De Tute who has demonstrated extraordinary skill, generosity and moreover, a powerful affinity with Sondheim’s score. So rare to find someone with such a similar musical heart. Thank you Sarah.

And finally, to my extremely dedicated and hard working cast who have battled through this work, against the clock, like a united force. I am so utterly proud of your diligence, generosity, avid hunger to learn and more importantly than all the rest, your professional development. You are graduating into a challenging world and without exception, your development across the board has impressed and inspired me. The final year of training can so often divide a cohort and, I hope, given the challenges of a global pandemic and the thousand natural shocks, that this project knits you together like the true ensemble you are. My gratitude and my light.

Sit back. But don’t relax, because isn’t that Sweeney there beside you?

Alexandra Spencer-Jones – Director and Choreographer 

Creative and Production Teams

Director/Choreographer

Alexandra Spencer-Jones

ASJ is the Artistic Director of Action to The Word Theatre Company for whom she has directed – the award-winning A Clockwork Orange (West End/Broadway/International Tour), Dracula (Arts Theatre), Constance & Sinestra and the Cabinet of Screams (New Wimbledon/International Tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (National Theatre Riverside/Latitude Festival), Rhythm of Silence (Bath Theatre Royal), Titus Andronicus (The Space), and currently, for the NHS, Chopped Logic (CPT and Latitude Festival). Elsewhere she directed; Gobsmacked (Southbank Centre and International Tour) and A Generous Lover (Assembly Rooms and International Tour).

For RCS she has directed Legally Blonde, Street Scene and Bat Boy the Musical. She is directing Godspell for this year’s Edinburgh Festival. Elsewhere she has directed for Rose Bruford College; City of Angels, Spring Awakening, Our Lady of 121st Street, Pains of Youth and Constellations, for Birmingham Conservatoire; Rent, Cloud 9 and The Priory, for Oxford School of Drama; All Day Permanent Red, for The Lir; Legally Blonde and for LIPA; Women Beware Women.

As Associate/Assistant Director; The Wizard of Oz (London Palladium), Bend it Like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre), Stepping Out (UK Tour), Hope (Royal Court) and as resident at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Kings Head Theatre and National Theatre Studio.

ASJ is also an actor-musician, performing currently in her own show Chopped Logic which will play this year’s Latitude Festival. She is a text specialist for The Globe Theatre, a former mentor for the National Student Drama Festival, a lecturer of Shakespearean Studies and an external examiner at Leeds Conservatoire of Music and Drama. She is also currently Associate Director of Six, West End and Internationally. When she isn’t listening to musical theatre and opera and fascinating herself with Shakespearean text, she is gazing at Ancient Greek architecture.

@alwaysasj @actiontotheword

Creative Team

Assistant Director – Jaïrus Obayomi

Musical Director – Sarah De Tute

Assistant Musical Director – Cheng Ong

Intimacy Co-ordinator – Sharon Mackay

Fall Director – Mark Gibson

Costume Designer – Jack McLean

Set Designer – Rachael Orr

Lighting Designer – Laura Martin

Fight Director – Raymond Short

 

Visiting Assistant Choreographer – Himadri Madan

Himadri graduated with MFA choreography from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and with BA choreography from Bangalore University, India. 

She has worked as choreographer and performer in India and UK, currently she co-heads Agnya Movement- a kathak and choreography initiative of Edinburgh.  

Her choreographies include: Story I See – webcast series (in collaboration with Theiya Arts and Centre of Biomedicine, Self and Society, University of Edinburgh at Being Human Festival), Still I Rise (in collaboration with Theiya Arts and Anahata Band) and Kathak Duet (Glasgow Mela), Inside Out (Trinity Laban conservatoire of Music and Dance) BhagwatachyukamBombat BengaluruUnsung HeroesScions of Myth, Ramayanand Colours of India (Cornucopia Creations, India) Govinda Damodara, Kaliya DamanChandana Charchita, and Holika Dahan (ISKCON, India).

 

Visiting Assistant Musical Director – Gregory Franz

Greg is delighted to be working again with the BA3’s on Sweeney Todd! He is a multi-instrumentalist originally from Long Island, New York. Musical Directing credits include: Children of EdenLizzie, DogfightNext To NormalSongs For A New WorldCatch Me If You Can, and more! He is grateful to have assisted on his first Sondheim show, and thanks Sarah de Tute for her trust and mentorship throughout this year.

Greg holds an Undergraduate Degree in Music Education (B-12 Certified). Greg looks forward to an incredible run with this accomplished cast and orchestra.

Production Team

Production Manager – Colin Bell

Associate Producer – Stephanie Katie Hunter

Stage Manager – Eve Imrie

Deputy Stage Manager – Indi Kilbride

Book Cover – Shannon White

Assistant Stage Manager – Alexander Cairns

Assistant Stage Manager – Rory Campbell

Assistant Stage Manager – Toby Cass

Hair & Makeup – Hollie MacKenzie

Lighting

Associate Lighting Designer – Anna Athanasiadi

Lighting Programmer – Pierce Brown

Production Electrician – Mhairhi Burton-Coyle

Lighting Crew – Ewan Fraser

Lighting Crew – Robyn Wendy Johnstone

Lighting Crew – Ryan Smith

Sound

Sound Designer – Stuart Green

Assistant Sound Designer/Sound No. 3 – Nommy Soplantila

Sound No.2 – Maddy Hazel Frost

Sound No. 4 – Noah Dunnett

Production Sound Engineer – Stuart Henderson

Technical Stage Department

Head of Stage – Kyle Jessiman

Deputy Head of Stage – Erin Johnstone

Stage Technician – Jamie McDonnell

Stage Technician – Jordan Alsoudani

Stage Technician – Zoe Peebles

Scenic

Head Scenic – Tyler Ness

Scenic Artist – Chloe Hurrel

Scenic Artist – Lyss Bolin

Scenic Artist – Amy Dunlop

Scenic Artist – Genevieve Metcalfe

Scenic Artist – Emma Palmer

Scenic Artist – Ruth Murdoch

Scenic Artist – Ned Mundy

Scenic Artist – Charlie Brooksbank

Scenic Artist – Alastair Murray

Assistant Scenic Artist – Beth Allnut

Assistant Scenic Artist – Mairi Smith

Assistant Scenic Artist – Jenny Fleming

Assistant Scenic Artist – Inez Cal

Assistant Scenic Artist – Eva Barret-Mansfield

Assistant Scenic Artist – Glenn Parkinson

Assistant Scenic Artist – Cal Owens

Assistant Scenic Artist – Jessica Hollis

Assistant Scenic Artist – India Smith

Assistant Scenic Artist – Isle Littlejohn

Assistant Scenic Artist – Francesca Rose

Props

Lead Props – Eilish Adair

Lead Props Assistant – Sarah Adija

Lead Props Assistant – Petra Crace

Lead Props (Pirelli’s Cart) – Alex Ringvall

Propmaker – Amy Brocklehurst

Propmaker – Sam Mackie

Propmaker – Ryan Nachtrab

Propmaker – Angelique Van Rouen

Propmaker – Jacob Martin

Propmaker – Evan McVicar

Propmaker – Jenny Fleming

Propmaker – Jessica Hollis

Propmaker – Eva Barrett-Mansfield

Costume

Costume Supervisor – Lynne McGinley

Costume Maker – Alex Yates

Costume Maker – Rosie Hearn

Costume Maker – Maia Winton

Costume Maker – Alex Baird

Costume Maker – Kirsty McMillan

Costume Maker – Hannah Pickering

Wardrobe Assistant – Beth Allnutt

Wardrobe Assistant – Inez Lucia Quinn Callan

Wardrobe Assistant – Mairi Smith

Wardrobe Assistant – Francesca Rose

Wardrobe Assistant – India Islay Smith

Wardrobe Assistant – Jacob Martin

Wardrobe Assistant – Jessica Rose Hollis

Wardrobe Assistant – Glenn Parkinson

Wardrobe Assistant – Jennifer Fleming

Construction

Patraig Gallagher

Isaac Nicol-Smith

Liam Warring

India Smith

Orchestra

Flute/Piccolo

Criseyde Holman

Oboe/Cor Anglais

Molly Sellors

Clarinet/Flute

Jack Halforty

Clarinet/Bass Clarinet

Derin Dusenkalkar

Bassoon

Bryony Webb

French horn

Isabella Diaz

Trumpet

Danni Woodnutt

Lucy Amos

Calum Kerr

Trombone

Joshua Parkhill

Rebecca Strang

Bass trombone

Milja Niclasen

Percussion

Andrew Murphy

Scott Vassie

Timpani

Ewan Millar

Harp

Aimee Clark

Hannah Middleton

Violin

Ken Fairbrother

Dominika Resinska

Viola

Frances Patterson

Cello

Ruari Woodsend

Andrew Rogers

Bass

Emily McDougall

The orchestra is comprised of RCS students.

Special Mentions

With Thanks


We would like to extend our thanks to those below for their help and support of Sweeney Todd

 

Gary Copeland

Artie Trezise

Leila Kalbassi

Grahame Coyle

Dundee Rep Theatre

Gallery

Interested in Musical Theatre?

The BA Musical Theatre programme and MA Musical Theatre programmes are for exceptionally talented students who are dedicated to developing their skills in acting, singing, dance and music. We are looking for the next cohort of students who want to train with us alongside industry professionals, and who aspire towards a career in the competitive musical theatre industry.

Within the RCS we also offer Short Courses covering a range of diiferent age groups and experience levels to further thier journeys in Musical Theatre.

Every year, our MA Musical Theatre (performance) students present work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe alongside our MA Musical Theatre (Musical Direction) students. Each festival we celebrate the synthesis of skills developed by our students throughout our year long programme by producing work that suits their unique talents, such as the premiere of new musical theatre performances to full length classics.