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
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
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
Teresa and Jane Carr
John Wilkes Booth
Sara Jane Moore
Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme
Chris Mortimer/James Coldrick
Scott Goncalves/Sam Baxter
President James Garfield
President Gerald Ford
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