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Combination of musical theatre and opera in Trim society's 'Sweeney Todd'

Wednesday, 11th April, 2012 5:00pm
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Combination of musical theatre and opera in Trim society's 'Sweeney Todd'

Ray O'Hare and Craig Regan in rehearsals for 'Sweeney Todd' in Trim.

Combination of musical theatre and opera in Trim society's 'Sweeney Todd'

Ray O'Hare and Craig Regan in rehearsals for 'Sweeney Todd' in Trim.

Trim Musical Society this week stages 'Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street' in the school beside the church (ample free parking) to Saturday 14th April, at 8pm each night.

A very talented and experienced cast and a great chorus will give life to what is a musical thriller with words and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim based on Hugh Wheeler's book.

Passion, comedy, tension, murder, treachery, love, evil and betrayal all woven into some great choral and solo numbers makes 'Sweeney Todd' a must-see theatrical experience. It is a musical that grips you from its haunting and question-setting opening to its tense and thrilling conclusion with twists and turns aplenty throughout, especially at the end. 'Sweeney Todd' may not carry you along in a feel-good carriage of hilarity and light-heartedness like Trim's recent productions of 'Anything Goes' and 'Crazy For You' but instead will have you spellbound and enraptured in a combination of the very best elements of both musical theatre and opera.

Under the direction of the widely experienced Alan Kinsella of Bull Alley Theatre, with musical direction and choreography by the equally experienced Graham Walsh and Grace McGrath respectively and a great set by the Society's own Bobby White of Scenemaker.eu, Trim Musical Society's 2012 show is one that will be talked about for years to come.

Set in 19th century London 'Sweeney Todd' is the name adopted by Benjamin Barker upon his return to London after spending 15 years in exile in Australia for a crime he didn't commit. The main story of the musical involves Todd's mission of revenge on those who wronged him but the victims of his vengeful and deadly razor become indiscriminate as a frenzy of killing ensues in his barber shop. He teams up with the conniving, amoral yet often hilarious Mrs Lovett who runs a pie shop below his 'tonsorial parlor'. She convinces Todd that their respective ventures can come together in somewhat of a joint venture which results in unusual meat for her unsuspecting, yet highly appreciative customers.

Evil comes in the form of Judge Turpin, a dark figure in both Sweeney's past and present, and the Judge's right-hand man Beadle Bamford, comedy, farce and tragedy come in equal measure from Adolfo Pirelli, a barber, dentist and purveyor of hair restorer, all of doubtful pedigree, innocence is portrayed by young Tobias Ragg who works for both Pirelli and Mrs Lovett in turn and who becomes an increasingly if unwitting central character as the plot develops while the love story in the musical is between Anthony Hope, a young sailor and acquaintance of Todd, and the beautiful Johanna Barker, who is the daughter of Todd but who becomes the prisoner and intended wife of the nefarious and lecherous Judge Turpin whose ward she is meant to be.

Meanwhile the other main character is the tragic and mysterious Beggar Woman who is an unnerving and disturbing presence throughout the tale.

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