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With this grand musical on the stage of the Schiller Theatre, director Barrie Kosky reveals himself to be a master of the macabre. An equally dark and delightfully chilling thriller by Stephen Sondheim about the bloody revenge inflicted by the legendary London barber Sweeney Todd.


And in the role of meat-pie queen Mrs Lovett: the fabulous Dagmar Manzel!


Sweeney Todd


London, in all its dreariness. Benjamin Barker, an upstanding barber of humble beginnings, is unjustly sentenced to a long prison term by Judge Turpin, who has his eye on Barker’s beautiful wife.

Years later, Barker returns with only one thing on his mind: revenge.

He learns from Mrs Lovett, the completely burnt-out but business-savvy owner of a meat-pie shop, that his wife has killed herself. And so Benjamin Barker, alias Sweeney Todd, not only embarks on an extremely efficient campaign of revenge, he also joins forces with his informant to start a flourishing joint venture in the meat-pie business.

The story of the ‘demonic barber of Fleet Street’ who became a mass murderer first appeared in 1846 as a penny dreadful entitled The String of Pearls , and has since served as the basis for numerous dramatic and cinematic adaptations. In composing this thriller musical, Sondheim drew inspiration from film soundtracks as well as Richard Wagner’s use of leitmotif.


Barrie Kosky stages his vision of this classic musical as a ‘children’s theatre nightmare collage’, revelling in that lust for horror, wavering between disgust and laughter, that has always fascinated audiences.

He mercilessly digs into the question of what humans are capable of when they follow the logic of revenge to the bitter end, and what’s at stake in the process.


BY THE WAY

Cannibalism has featured in myths and fairy tales since antiquity: Chronos eats his children, Titus Andronicus bakes his dead enemies into pies, and the wicked witch intends to eat Hansel for dinner.


(Program in German)

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Additional information
Stephen SondheimThe Demon Barber of Fleet Street A musical thriller [1979 ]Music and lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM Book by HUGH WHEELER Based on the play of the same name by CHRISTOPHER BOND Director of original Broadway production HAROLD PRINCEOrchestration by JONATHAN TUNICK Originally produced on Broadway by Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson, and Martin Richards in association with Dean and Judy Manos

Koproduktion mit Opéra national du Rhin
Participating artists
David Cavelius (Chöre)
Olaf Freese (Licht)
James Gaffigan (Musikalische Leitung)
Barrie Kosky (Inszenierung)
Katrin Lea Tag (Bühnenbild und Kostüme)
Christopher Purves (Sweeney Todd)
Dagmar Manzel (Mrs. Nellie Lovett)
Rosie Aldridge (Mrs. Nellie Lovett)
Hubert Zapiór (Anthony Hope)
Alma Sadé (Joanna Barker)
Tom Schimon (Tobias Ragg)
Jens Larsen (Richter Turpin)
Scott Wilde (Richter Turpin)
James Kryshak (Beadle Bamford)
Sigalit Feig (Bettlerin)
Ivan Turšić (Adolfo Pirelli)
Dates
November 2024
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