Performances: April 27-30 - 2022
Performed at the Leeds Carriageworks Theatre - main stage.
About The Show
This one was a little bit special. Every production is special in some way or other, but this one did feel a bit beyond the normal.
It was our first show coming out of 2 years of the Pandemic. Our 2020 production of H.M.S. Pinafore had to be cancelled a few weeks before making it to the stage. So our previous show had been 2019. The long hiatus meant something in itself, but in addition all of us had gone through challenges, some small and some great, over the 2 years. We started rehearsals in September 2021, very conscious of safety. The early music rehearsals were spent with masks still on. As the months past, the dangers subsided and the masks became less important. From my side, that act of being with people again, in the same space, interacting and participating, was profound. So this one was a little bit special.
The group had evolved a bit since our 2020 almost show. There were lots of new faces and fewer known faces. The "new" were welcomed with open arms, even if many of them seemed vibrant and energetic and young (I was suddenly very much one of the oldies of the company). The "known" who did not (yet) return were sorely missed. There was the pang to see people again who had been with us so many times in past years, the yearning to get straight back into enjoying making music together again. You naturally feel safer and more comfortable working with people who you know and immediately trust. The slight pang of sadness never quite left, but the "new" were so open and involved, everyone became part of the "known" and trusted. They just threw themselves into everything with such gusto! So this one was a little bit special.
This was Sweeney Todd. For some, this was a good reason to miss this production, as it is too extreme a piece to be everyone's cup of tea. For others, though, it is a tea to be enthusiastically imbibed and savoured any chance you get. It is challenging. It has a lot of music to learn that is often complex and quirky. It is dramatically extremely satisfying. For those who chose to drink, this one was a little bit special.
- Mrs Lovett - Jasmine Caines
- Sweeney Todd - Jason Weightman
- Anthony - Kristian Cleworth
- Beggar Woman - Emma Kennedy
- Judge Turpin - Richard Pascoe
- The Beadle - Matthew Oglesby
- Johanna - Anna Halliday
- Tobias - Danny Kelly
- Pirelli - Matt Stirk
Becky Barwick, Tom Daley, Hannah Faulkner, Anne Futers, Will Gauseden, Janet Johnston, Sophie Moul, Heather Pennwood, Naomi Priest, Phil Reuben, Amy Rout, Tom Sheldon, Emma Smith, Holly Smith, Yasmine Stevenson, Emma Stirk, Sam Watson.
- Director = Anita Adams; Musical Director = Adam Boniface
Every show we do has an army of people in the background making everything work. For this show the team stretched further and worked so hard to make the production look, sound, and feel a little bit special. Chris, Matt, Matt (a different one), Aly, Paul, Emma, Judith, Judith (a different one) and Anita, and so many others did so much to make it a show to remember.
As an example, here is Matt explaining the length and depth of thinking that went into the design process.
A Set Designed
This was an elite crew of musical maestros. For a number of reasons they came together quite late (e.g. Elizabeth, our flautist, was a late emergency replacement on the Sunday of show week), but took on the tough Sondheim music with skillful alacrity.
- Violin 1 - Michele Northam & Jasmine Grundy
- Violin 2 - Jenni Baillie & Ching Kwok
- Viola - Simon Matthews
- Cello - Alexander Diack
- Bass - Joe Wilkes
- Reed 1 - Elizabeth Wells
- Reed 2 - Rachel O’Sullivan
- Reed 3 - Benjamin Palmer
- Reed 4 - Martha O’Sullivan
- Trumpet 1 - Sean Gleeson
- Trumpet 2 - Will Burn
- Trombone - Dan Eddison
- French Horn - Joe Smith
- Keys 1 - Tom Mitchell
- Keys 2 (Harp) - Mason Hirst
- Percussion - Taneli Clarke