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Tooting Arts Club presents SWEENEY TODD in Shaftesbury Avenue

Tooting Arts Club's Sweeney Todd
Tooting Arts Club’s Sweeney Todd –
Photo credit Bronwen Sharp

TOOTING ARTS CLUB TO RECREATE HARRINGTON’S PIE AND MASH SHOP ON SHAFTESBURY AVENUE TO HOUSE THEIR ACCLAIMED SWEENEY TODD

MRS LOVETT’S PIES WILL POP UP AT 39-45 SHAFTESBURY AVENUE FOR A STRICTLY LIMITED SEASON FROM 12 MARCH – 16 MAY 2015

Tooting Arts Club’s acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd is to move to a new home on Shaftesbury Avenue this spring whilst Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop undergoes refurbishment. The pop-up pie shop success story started last October when Tooting Arts offered up lovelorn Mrs Lovett’s infamous pies in a grisly, site-specific production of Stephen Sondheim’s most famous musical in SW17. Audiences met in the local barbers before being led into London’s oldest, functioning pie-shop, established in 1908 and complete with original Victorian décor.

Whilst the Lovetts’ Victorian home is out of action Tooting Arts will recreate the interior of the beloved Harrington’s, meticulously building an exact replica on Shaftesbury Avenue to house the show, the first pop-up musical to come to Theatreland. Tickets go on sale today for the evocative and atmospheric production which will once again be delivered to intimate audiences by candlelight, across the tables. Tooting Arts will continue to partner with the Harrington’s for the project, with meat pie, mash and liquor served up on site for audiences to buy before the show.

Rachel Edwards, Producer, Tooting Arts Club said “Putting Sweeney Todd on at Harrington’s last year was a remarkable adventure. The project sums up exactly what TAC is about – creating inventive work that is born out exciting collaborations with people at the heart of the local community. To be able to share the project with a wider audience is a dream come true. The stars have aligned for us and through word of mouth the incredible support of Stephen Sondheim and Cameron Mackintosh we are able to make it happen all over again.

The cast includes: Siobhan McCarthy; Jeremy Secomb; Ian Mowat; Nadim Naaman; Duncan Smith; Joseph Taylor; and Kiara Jay; who all reprise their original roles, with Zoe Doano joining them for the first time.

Sweeney Todd is directed by Bill Buckhurst, who recently co-directed the international touring production of Shakespeare’s Globe’s Hamlet alongside Dominic Dromgoole. This is the fourth production Bill has directed for Tooting Arts Club, following Tinderbox in 2011, Barbarians in 2012 and A Midsummer Night’s Dream last summer. His other directing credits include The Vegemite Tales in the West End and numerous touring productions for Shakespeare’s Globe. Musical direction is from Benjamin Cox, also composer and musical director for acclaimed cabaret theatre troupe The Ruby Dolls.

Based on a Victorian horror story, Sweeney Todd is often considered Sondheim’s masterpiece. The original 1979 production won a host of awards including both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for music, book and the two lead actors.

Tooting Arts Club was established in 2011 with the aim to stage high quality professional productions in an area that lacks a permanent home for theatre. The company takes inspiration from the area, using local buildings to stage performances that draw audiences from across London, including critically acclaimed productions of Invasion! by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Lucy Kirkwood’s Tinderbox, Barrie Keefe’s Barbarians (which was staged in a former Youth Enterprise Centre) and an outdoor A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This second encounter of Sweeney Todd will be Tooting Arts Club’s sixth production – and their first outside their familiar Tooting home.

LISTINGS:
Sweeney Todd
Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop
39-45 Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 6LA

Thursday 12 March 2015 – Saturday 16 May 2015
Monday – Saturday evening performances: 7.30pm
Matinee performances: Thursdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm
Access bookings: 0844 482 5137
Press Night: Performances through Thursday 19th March – Saturday 21st March
Website www.tootingartsclub.co.uk
Booking details http://www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/sweeneypieshop
0844 482 5138
Ticket prices:
£47.50, £30
Premiums – £67.50 includes traditional pie and mash with liquor.
All prices include £2 booking fee.
Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Creative Team
Produced by Rachel Edwards for Tooting Arts Club
Associate Producers Hilary Williams and Tracey Childs
Director Bill Buckhurst
Musical Director Ben Cox
Set Design Simon Kenny
Lighting design Amy Mae Smith
Sound Joshua Richardson

About Harrington’s Pie & Mash Shop
Number 3 Selkirk Road Tooting became Harrington’s Pie & Mash shop in the spring of 1908 when it was bought by Bertie John Harrington and his wife Clara. With two small children in tow, Bertrum and George, 26 year old Bertie Harrington moved from Limehouse and set-up shop down south, serving pie and mash to the SW17 community for the next 31 years until his death at 57 in 1939.

After Bertie’s death Clara Harrington continued to run the shop through the Second World War and well in to the late fifties when it was then taken over by her third child Viktor – born at the shop in 1910 – and his wife Doris. After Viktor’s death in ’68 Doris, despite some protest, hung on the shop until the introduction of VAT in 1979 when she then passed the shop on to her nephew Viktor – Son of Marjorie, Clara and Bertie’s last child. Viktor and his wife Gloria ran shop well into the 21st Century, until Viktor’s death in 2007, followed by the untimely passing of the much loved Gloria who passed away in 2012. Beverley Mason the daughter of Viktor and Gloria continues to run the shop today with the help of her daughter Jasmine. Harrington’s continues to serve pie and mash to the Tooting population some 106 years on and still does a roaring trade today.

CAST BIOGRAPHIES
Zoe Doano (Johanna Barker) joins the production for its current run. Her previous theatre credits include The Grand Tour (Finborough Theatre), High Society (UK Tour), Sweet Smell of Success (Arcola Theatre), Margueritte (Tabard Theatre), The Sound of Music (UK Tour), Sondheim at 80 (BBC Proms). Television credits include Hollyoaks and Penny Dreadful.

Siobhan McCarthy (Mrs Lovett) returns to the cast after appearing in the original production. McCarthy has worked extensively in London’s West End where she was Olivier Award nominated for originating the role of Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia (Prince Edward Theatre). Other theatre credits include Evita (Prince Edward Theatre), Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre), Chess (Prince Edward Theatre), Les Miserables (Palace Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (Palace Theatre), Hairspray (UK Tour) and Deborah Warner’s Medea (West End, UK Tour & Broadway). Her television credits include Lovejoy, Law and Order, Bad Girls and Holby City.

Kiara Jay (Adolfo Pirelli and Beggar Woman) returns to the cast after appearing in the original production. Jay’s recent credits include Oliver! (Sheffield Crucible Theatre), The Sound of Music (UK Tour), Sister Act (London Palladium), The Wizard of Oz (Royal Festival Hall), Carmen (Royal Opera House)

Ian Mowat (Beadle Bamford) returns to the cast after appearing in the original production. Mowat’s recent theatre credits include Jack and the Beanstalk (Connaught Theatre), Aladdin (Wyvern Theatre), Hot Mikado (Landor Theatre), Acorn Antiques (UK Tour), Evita (UK Tour), Oklahoma! (UK Tour) and Pirates of Penzance (Northern Stage).

Nadim Naaman (Anthony Hope) returns to the cast after appearing in the original production. Naaman’s recent credits include Titanic (Southwark Playhouse), Marguerite (The Tabard), Thirteen Days (Arcola Theatre), Knight Crew (Glyndebourne) and James and The Giant Peach (The Watermill).

Jeremy Secomb (Sweeney Todd) returns to the cast after appearing in the original production. Secomb has worked regularly in the West End. Theatre credits include Lend Me a Tenor the Musical (Gielgud), Evita (Adelphi), The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour), Peter Pan (Canterbury Marlowe) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour).

Duncan Smith (Judge Turpin) returns to the cast after appearing in the original production. Recent theatre credits include The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), God Sports (New End Theatre), La Cage Aux Follies (Playhouse Theatre), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour), Kiss Me Kate (UK Tour), Anything Goes, Love’s Labour Lost, Lady in the Dark (all National Theatre) and Evita (Prince Edward Theatre).

Joseph Taylor (Tobias Ragg) returns to the cast after appearing in the original production. Taylor’s credits include Lost Boy (Charing Cross Theatre and Finborough Theatre) and Peter Pan the Musical (Trinity Theatre).

Author

  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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