The NMU Forest Roberts Theatre showcases classic horror musical Sweeney Todd
Two men bellowed out on a ship, “there is no place like London.” As a ship approached the Thames River, it dropped off the two passengers, one young and anxious to explore the city. The other passenger was left defeated and pessimistic about his return. His name is Sweeney Todd.
“There’s a hole in the world like a great black pit and the vermin
of the world inhabit it and its morals aren’t worth what a pig could spit,” Todd sang.
The Forest Roberts Theatre (FRT) will introduce this world in their upcoming musical production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
The musical tells a story of the return of a barber from exile after being wrongfully sentenced by a nefarious judge. The judge tries to steal Todd’s wife when he is gone, leaving the family forever splintered. Upon his return to the gray and dismal cesspool of corruption, Todd seeks out vengeance with his razor against all those who took his wife and daughter away. Played by award-winning NMU Professor Paul Truckey, Todd sends the audience back to a victorian London.
“He [Sweeney Todd] is a human being that has been driven to a place where he feels there is little hope,” Truckey said. “But he doesn’t start off that way; he starts off with hope. Anybody, no matter how kind we are, everybody has the capability of turning quickly if the situation is right.”
With bloodlust turning his judgment perverse, Todd begins piling up the bodies. Todd seeks to dispose of them by giving them to his associate Mrs. Lovett to bake into her infamous meat pies. As Todd’s path becomes more grim, the world around him follows suit. It is a malicious and thrilling tale perfectly primed to start the Halloween season. NMU student actors expressed their enthusiasm for the play.
“It’s a play that is very dark, yet very truthful,” said senior English major Lilith Kontos playing the role of Tobias Ragg.
Kontos said the production has been a long awaited experience, as cast members were chosen before summer began, and has
appreciated the hard work leading up to the moment.
One ensemble member, freshman theatre major Sophie Sam, said the rehearsals built the anticipation for everyone in the show.
“There is an incredibly clear vision from Keli Truckey, our director, as far as what she is looking for in the show,” Sam said.
Keli Crawford-Truckey is a guest director who is conducting the play to honor her brother who committed suicide a year and a half ago. She attributed imagery she saw that correlated with mental traps and has transferred that imagery in the form of bird cages onto the set.
“I kind of just built on that
and pulled that out thinking of my brother’s life and our own lives,
everyone’s life and how we cage and trap each other,” Crawford-Truckey said.
The NMU cast has expressed great interest in seeing the NMU community come and see this play in hopes that this will draw interest to the theatre field and that it will be the great realization of their
The FRT invites all to celebrate this Halloween season at 7:30 each night on Oct. 26, 27, 30 and 31 and Nov. 1, 2 and 3. The FRT will offer an early show at 1 p.m. on the last day, Nov. 3. Tickets can be purchased at the FRT, the Berry Events Center and online for $15 for the general public, $10 for students and $5 for NMU students.