Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Thursday 23, Friday 24 and Saturday 25 March saw our Senior Musical: a stunning production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

With its melodically and harmonically complex score and difficult rhythms Sondheim’s work is a notoriously complex piece for performers. The talented cast of 46 pupils, mainly drawn from the U4 upwards but with a Mini Ensemble recruited from the Thirds, more than rose to the challenge. Musical Director, Caroline Foinette, said that “most of the cast have had no formal musical training; some of the leads don’t even read music and had to learn tonally complicated songs by ear.”

An ingenious set had been designed by Design Technology teacher Aron Whitbread and was constructed by the Bancroft’s pupils under Mr Whitbread’s guidance. Mrs Vetta led a large team of make-up artists who were responsible for the “Victorian gothic” look of the cast; Susi Bramwell’s (Beggar Woman) ravaged and scarred face was quite a work of art.

The production wowed audiences who were unanimous in their praise for a talented cast led by Lower Sixth students Tom Dean (Sweeney) and Daniela Prickman (Mrs Lovett). In particular, Josie Grimsell, one of the youngest members of the cast, stole everyone’s heart with her confident and energetic portrayal of Toby.

The best school musical I have ever seen. There was an incredible amount of enthusiasm, energy and brilliance on stage.

Simon Marshall, Head

Head Simon Marshall commended the teamwork which was evident,  “Although there were some memorable leads, what really shone through was that this was the work of a team: the cast, crew and band all worked together.

A final word has to come from Eleanor Middleton, Head of Drama, who, as Director, had the massive task of pulling everything together, “I could not have been more proud of the cast. They put their hearts and souls into this production. They were a fantastic team and it was a pleasure to spend time with them.”


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