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Spine-tingling musical thriller comes to Rugby Theatre

Steve Mellin as Sweeney Todd. Photo © Martin Pulley.

Sweeney Todd, Rugby Theatre, 28 Oct - 4 November

Preview by Rosie Fuller.

A dark and witty musical thriller coinciding with Halloween is next up from the talented performers at Rugby Theatre.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street tells the sinister tale of Sweeney Todd, a barber who returns to London after years of exile, seeking revenge against the corrupt judge who wronged him. Together with his accomplice Mrs Lovett, the resourceful proprietress of a pie shop, they hatch a diabolical plan to dispatch his victims into her delicious meat pies. But as their killing spree gains momentum, the pair find themselves descending deeper into madness and terror.

Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett. Photo © Martin Pulley.

“Sweeney Todd is a dark comedy, with great dramatic moments coupled with laugh-out-loud absurdities,” says the show’s director Tim Sell. “At face value the show is about creative murder above a pie shop, but at its heart it is about what choices you would make for the ones you love, and what sacrifices you would make along the way. Sweeney, for example, sacrifices the chance of reuniting with his daughter to get revenge for the death of his wife; Anthony defies the judge to win his sweetheart; and the judge discards his morals for the lust he feels for his adoptive daughter.”

The show’s music and lyrics are written by Stephen Sondheim, regarded as one of the most important figures in 20th century musical theatre. The music will be performed by a 10-piece orchestra, led by musical director Matt Winkworth, who is making his debut at Rugby Theatre. Set design and costumes add to the eerie atmosphere, transporting viewers back to Victorian London.

Hayley Glover as Mrs Lovett. Photo © Martin Pulley.

“Audiences can expect love stories, emotional turmoil and hilarious comedy moments,” continues Tim. “On top of that the show has wonderful music and memorable tunes, and is a great example of Sondheim's genius. Get ready for a night out that will haunt your dreams this Halloween!”

Sweeney Todd runs from 28 October - 4 November, with BSL-interpreted performances on 1 and 3 November. Tickets available from the Rugby Theatre box office on 01788 541234, or


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