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Sondheim's Assassins: Pick Me Up Theatre


John Cooper Studio Theatre, 41 Monkgate,  York

Pick Me Up’s 2016 Summer Sondheim season kicked off with Assassins, the stunning musical that tells the stories of nine people who set out to assassinate the President of the United States.

It attracted enthusiastic audiences and a five-star review from the York Press – critic Charles Hutchinson writing: "Pick Me Up Theatre are not only remarkably prolific but their work is consistently outstanding, and Assassins is right up their with their best, from casting, direction and design by Readman and Barbara Chan's band, up high at the back, to the superb lighting of Adam Moore and Ian Thomson's pin-sharp sound."

Sondheim and writer John Weidman explore the assassins’ personalities and weave their stories

Juliet Waters and Alexa Chaplin as Sara-Jane Moore and Lynette "Squeaky' Fromme in Sondheim's Assassins

together in an electrifying show that reveals uneasy truths about the American Dream.


Readman has assembled a brilliant cast with Simon Radford as Abraham Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth and Sam Hird in the dual roles of the Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald, who

assassinated John F Kennedy in 1963.


George Stagnell plays Leon Czolgosz, who shot dead President William McKinley in 1901, and Mark Hird is Charles J Guiteau, who assassinated James Garfield in 1881. 


The would-be assassins are Jonny Holbek as John Hinckley, who shot Ronald Reagan; Conor Mellor

Mark Hird as Charles Guiteau and Sam Hird as the Balladeer in Sondheim's Assassins

as Guiseppe Zangara, who attempted to assassinate Franklin D.Roosevelt; Alexa Chaplin and Juliet Waters as Lynnette “Squeaky” Fromme and Sara Jane Moore – who both tried to shoot Gerald Ford – and Craig Kirby as Samuel Byck, who tried to hijack a plane and land it on Richard Nixon in the White House.


The ensemble playing a range of different roles – including bystanders who comment on the events – is equally strong featuring Chris Mortimer, Holly Surtees-Smith, Scott Goncalves, Sam Baxter, James Coldrick, Kelly Stocker, Elanor Dunn and Lewis Douglas.


Musical director is Barbara Chan with technical director Adam Moore on hand to create magic with lights.

July 22-30 2016


Music and lyrics by

Stephen Sondheim


Book by

John Weidman


Directed by 

Robert Readman


Musical Director

Barbara Chan


Adam Moore


Ian Thomson


Teresa and Jane Carr




John Wilkes Booth 

Simon Radford


The Balladeer

Sam Hird


Sara Jane Moore

Juliet Waters


Leon Czolgosz

George Stagnell


Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme

Alexa Chaplin


Samuel Byck

Craig Kirby


Giuseppe Zangara

Conor Mellor


John Hinckley

Jonny Holbek


Charles Guiteau

Mark Hird


The Proprietor

Chris Mortimer/James Coldrick


Emma Goldman

Holly Surtees-Smith


David Herold

Scott Goncalves/Sam Baxter



Elanor Dunn

Kelly Stocker


Sam Baxter

President James Garfield

James Coldrick

James Blaine

Lewis Douglas

President Gerald Ford

Chris Mortimer


Barbara Chan


Sam Johnson


Matthew Spalding


Tris Fitzmaurice


Rhys Evans


James Wood


Simon Radford as John Wilkes Booth and George Stagnell as Leon Czolgosz in Sondheim's Assassins

Pick Me Up’s second Summer Sondheim is Sweeney Todd which opens on Friday August 5th through to Saturday August 13th.


Photos by Matthew Kitchen Photography

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