UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

Sweeney Todd Jan 17, 1990

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 SWEENEY L)uringl990, UBC is marking its diamond anniversary.
It's a time not only to reflect upon our past accomplishments, but
to look ahead to our bright future.
lo commemorate this special year, the University is offering a
wide range of official souvenirs, available at the Bookstore.
When you purchase a 75th Anniversary souvenir item, you'll be
helping to support campus-wide events.
6200 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 1Y5
Telephone 228-4741
Illustration reproduced with permission from Canadian Graphics West Inc.
University of British Columbia
Frederic Wood Theatre
Music and Lyrics by
Directed By
French Tickner
January 17 - February 3
1990 Co-Producing
If J.M Synge, the Irish dramatist, is correct in maintaining that
"all art is collaboration", then Theatre artistry, more than any
other form, would seem to thrive on multiple collaborative
processes. The art of the actor, director, scenic and costume and
lighting designers, technical magicians and sound operators, all
blend into an amalgam which must seem a fully integrated
whole. One of the great advantages of the University structure is
that this kind of collaborative opportunity can be extended
beyond the workings of a single department to draw on the
expertise of a range of other disciplines. And in producing
SWEENEY TODD we have been extremely fortunate in finding
a happy and harmonious combination of three Creative and
Performing Arts Departments. The School of Music, under the
baton of French Tickner, has brought all the musical and vocal
resources of Opera to the Frederic Wood for this 75th
Anniversary tribute to the University of British Columbia; Robert
Gardiner and Mara Gottler of Theatre have envisioned the grimy,
man-eat-man world of SWEENEY TODD in their set, costume,
and lighting designs; the Frederic Wood scene-shop and
Wardrobe have provided the professional and technical expertise
of their construction teams; and Richard Prince of Fine Arts has
provided us with a sinister icon of a drop of blood congealing on
a cut-throat razor.
We look to SWEENEY TODD as the model of new
collaborative ventures in the Creative and Performing Arts. In
creating a Centre for Excellence in Education in the Film
Division of Theatre, the Provincial Government has also funded a
series of additional positions in Music and Creative Writing to
enhance the University's capacity to write screenplays, compose
their scores, and shoot the films—another instance of the interdisciplinary co-operation which makes UBC a particularly
attractive campus for scholar-artists. In the 1990s the Creative
and Performing Arts will have even greater opportunities for
artistic collaboration. The President's Campaign, supported by
the munificence of private donors and matching Provincial
funds, will create a complex of performance spaces—concert
hall, proscenium theatre, studio, and cinema—which will
provide an extraordinary facility for Music, Theatre, Creative
Writing and Fine Arts to combine their collective expertise in
joint ventures. In this sense, SWEENEY TODD is not only a
celebration of the University's past achievement over the last 75
years, but a tribute to the foresight and planning which will
make UBC pre-eminent among Canada's Creative and
Performing Arts campuses.
Errol Durbach
Errol Durbach is the Head of the Department of Theatre.
19 15-1990
ANNIVERSARY Stageland's Uncivil Barber
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, made his stage
debut in George Dibdin Pitt's The String of Pearls, first performed at
the Britannia Theatre, Hoxton, in March 1847. A purveyor of popular
entertainments to London's minor houses, Pitt drew his tale from The
People's Periodical, which in 1846-47 ran a 18-part serial by Thomas
Prest setting forth in lurid detail the adventures of a barber who
"polished off his more affluent clients. (Both Pitt's play and Prest's
story allude in their titles to a strand of pearls the barber hopes to
obtain by cutting the throat of a young sailor.) Where Prest went for
his plot is anybody's guess. Contemporary scholars have found
analogues in two 18th Century court cases, and a medieval French
ballad. It was, however, Pitt's reshaping of Sweeney for working-class
playgoers that launched the figure on his considerable career. Pitt
began by recutting his material after the fashions of Victorian
melodrama. Sweeney himself with his murderous mechanical chair
participates fully in the vogue for 'goriodrama' that offered 19th
Century audiences protracted scenes of violence, supposedly based
upon 'real-life' incidents. That Sweeney was a working man and his
victims persons of means, may well have amused the Britannia's East
End spectators by reversing the positions of oppressed worker and
monied villain they had come to expect from domestic plays in the
period. Melodramatic in a more literal sense was Pitt's use of emotive
music to support stage action. Taking advantage of his theatre's in-
house orchestra, Pitt provided Sweeney with almost continuous
melodic accompaniment. Years later critic H. Chance Newton recalled
the thrill created by one of Pitt's most insistent effects: "It is
noteworthy that throughout the play whenever the word 'pearls' is
mentioned, it served as a special music-cue (for) music of a most
thunderous crashing nature."
Pitt's success spawned a host of Sweeney imitators. Some
added cannibalism to the play's catalogue of horrors by having
Mrs. Lovett, the barber's accomplice, recycle his victims as
meat pies. Indeed, the exuberant bizarrerie of Sweeney's bloodletting seems to have titillated Victorian playgoers with the
same combination of destruction and delight that has
transformed the likes of 'Jason' (Friday the 13th) and 'Freddy'
{Nightmare on Elm Street) into cult figures for the 1980s and
90s. In our own century, Sweeney himself has been the subject
of a number of films, stretching back to two silent versions
made in the late twenties. In 1936 the aptly named Tod
Slaughter, a stage Sweeney in his own right, featured himself in
a major cinematic adaptation. Perhaps Sweeney's most curious
incarnation to date has been a 1959 Royal Ballet,
choreographed by John Cranko to a score by Malcolm Arnold.
Stephen Sondheim's musical, now the best-known rendering of
the Sweeney myth, premiered at the Theatre Royal, Drury
Lane, in July 1980. It is, in turn, based upon a 1969 stage
version by Christopher Bond, first performed at the Victoria
Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent.
Joel H. Kaplan
Joel H. Kaplan is proprietor of the Adelphi Screamers, a Vancouver-
based troupe specializing in plays of the Victorian and Edwardian
periods. The company's production of Oscar Wilde's Florentine
Tragedy vv/7/ open at the Edmonton Fringe Festival in July 1990.
19   15-1990
ANNIVERSARY Music and Lyrics by
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Book by
French Tickner
Set Design by Robert Gardiner
Costume Design by Mara Gottler
Lighting Design by Ronald Fedoruk
Sweeney Todd Roger L. Stephens
Anthony Hope Christopher Johnson
Beggar Woman Gail Mandryk
Understudy  Margaret Harding
Mrs. Lovett Adele Clark
Lucy Sherilene Marie Neyedli
Johanna Margaret Ann Brockington
Understudy  Aviva Lacterman
Tobias Ragg  Stephen John Salvati
Pirelli  Giovanni Smaldino
The Beadle Mel Eriksen
Judge Turpin Lloyd Burritt
Jonas Fogg  Guy Fauchon
The Company Juliette Arato, Sarika Bose,
Eliza Green-Moncur, Margaret Harding,
Lori Harris, Aviva Lacterman, Wayne Line,
Roberta Norman, Nancy Quan,
Alexandrea Trimble, David Vaisbord, Carl Watson
Associate Music Director   Richard Epp
Chorus Conductor  James Schell
Chorus Rehearsal Pianist  Marie Chan
Musicians Richard Epp, Ken Cormier
Technical Director Ian Pratt
Properties Sherry Milne
Costume Supervisor Rosemarie Moore
Set Construction  Don Griffiths, John Henrickson
Robert Moser, John Corrigan
Costume Cutter (Ladies)  Jean Driscoll-Bell
Costume Cutter (Gentlemen) Leslie White
Wigs  Terry Kuzyk
Stage Managers Erin E. Jarvis, Lisa Roy
Assistant Stage Managers Nancy Lyons, Jeff Rankin
Wardrobe Mistress Michelle Melland
Costume Assistants   Celine Boucher, Nancy Canning,
Jo Howitz
Lighting Operator  Jennifer Ames
Set Design Assistants  Tom Schaad, Lorraine West, Tania Lazib
Properties Assistants   Kristen Johnson, Decima Mitchell,
Peter Sickert
Scenic Artist  Robert Gardiner
Paint Crew  Crickett Price, Celine Boucher,
Nick Davis, Tom Schaad
Sewers Theatre 453 Class
Make Up  Nick Davis
Stage Crew  Scott Bell, Heidi Bevington,
Gavin Crawford, Lynn Emde,
Lynda Phillips, Sandra Young
Box Office  Carolyn Preiswerck, Mariascha Wright
Lisa Beley
Poster Design Richard Prince
Business Manager  Marjorie Fordham
Production Manager Robert Eberle S W EENEY       TOD Dt
Fimt Performed nt tlir Ti.itnnmn Thrntf, 1P42.
B r a m a t i s   3? c r s a n m.
^ir William Brandon (a Judpe)	
Colonel JirrERT (of the Indian Array)	
Jasper Oaslet (a Spectacle-maker)
Mari  Ikifstrie (a Mariner)
Swefnet Todd (the Barber of Fleet Street)
Dr   Aminadik  Lupin (a Wolf in Sheep's Clotlittij.
Jarvis Williams (r Lad with no email appetite)
Jonas  Fogo (the Keeper of a Mari-honse)
Bo. 48»S. Bloke' Standard Flays.
[See yegt *•
Mr. C. Williams.
Mr. J. Reynolds.
Mr. Elliott.
Mr. S. Sawford.
Mr. Mark Howard.
Mr. J. Dnnn.
Mr. W. Rogers.
Mr. C. Pitt.
A Note
The Set Designer
I try in my design to invent a world in which the only action
that can happen is the play. The story of the play and the world
of the play should belong together. Of course, most plays and
operas could happen in more than one kind of world; so at
once I find that I must choose, among the many possibilities,
the one I find most suitable.
To help me in this I have the text, the music, the director,
and my fellow designers. I try to use these resources to devise
a setting for the story that will both support the action, and be a
kind of window in which the story's "message" or theme can
be seen more clearly.
I think the theme of SWEENEY TODD is plainly stated in
the text: "To seek revenge may lead to hell, but everyone does
it..." The world is described too: "There's a hole in the world
like a great black pit, and it goes by the name of London." The
scenery you will see is what these lines conjured up for me.
A theatre event is brought to life by the collaboration of
many artists: singers, builders, painters, designers, tailors,
crew, director, musicians, and many more. With luck and
enterprise we bring you an evening of theatre that we hope you
will not soon forget.
Robert Gardiner
19 15-1990
ANNIVERSARY Costume Design
Mara Gottler
As part of UBC's 75th Anniversary the Department of
Theatre will be presenting:
April 28
May to
June to
A Champagne Fundraiser to
observe 75 years of fashion:
Stage Campus: The student
company will once again produce a
series of plays for your
summer enjoyment.
Students from the Department of
Theatre will be producing "Theatre
for all Ages" on the grounds of the
UBC campus.
19 15-1990
The Department of Theatre wishes to
extend its thanks to the "75th Anniversary-
Poster Design SWEENEY TODD
Richard Prince Frederic Wood Theatre
Coming Attractions
March 7-17
Directed by Arne Zaslove
The Vancouver Playhouse
Arts Club Theatre
Cissor's Studio
Rose Atkin
Guy Palmer 19 15-1990


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