Sweeney Todd at SMT to explore the nature of violence

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Seattle Musical Theatre, Seattle’s longest-running musical theatre company, has begun production for the second show of its 39th season, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

The musical is a retelling of the legend of Benjamin Barker, now Sweeney Todd, who has returned to London to seek vengeance on those who had accused him wrongly.

During the course of this journey, he encounters and allies with the meat pie shop proprietor, Mrs. Lovett. Together, they start a reign of terror that not only changes the course of lives forever, but unlocks a gruesome side of London not seen since!

“The themes of identity, revenge, loss, and redemption are explored throughout this musical,” states SMT’s Managing Artistic Director, Chris Mayse. 
“Along with giving our patrons the classic tale of Todd and Lovett, I also wanted to take a fresh view of the story through the optics of Tobias, the young lad who fate seems to draw into this tale of horror. 
"There isn’t a lot said about his beginnings, or why he is a part of the story to begin with; although, his presence is definitely felt by the time we reach the climactic ending. I’m giving a focus to this and using a modern-day London as a launching point to begin Toby’s nightmare into the world of Todd.”

Mayse says that this story has probably never been given such a fresh perspective of storytelling.
“We’re really focusing on the idea of violence; how it plays a part in the world of Todd, as well as how we as a society (then and now), view it and the effects it has on us. 
"When I did the show myself, I was fascinated at how people were laughing and being entertained at the antics of a glorified serial killer! We are so quick to judge violence, yet we view the exploitation or it and get enjoyment from it!”

Tickets are currently on sale for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (October 28 to November 20) as well as for all of SMT’s 39th season selections. Go to Seattle Musical Theatre to learn more about the company and their upcoming season.


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