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Susannah Baines as Mrs Lovett and Nick Lewis as Sweeney Todd – photo by Matthew Kitchen Photography


John Cooper Studio Theatre, 41 Monkgate, York

"Frankly, you should attend the tale of Sweeney Todd" ... that was the verdict of York Press arts critic Charles Hutchinson on the second show in Pick Me Up Theatre's Summer Sondheim season

Sweeney returns to London as a convict from Australia seeking revenge against those who separated him from his wife and child.


He meets Mrs Lovett, who owns a shop that sells "the worst pies in London", and recognises him by his real name Benjamin Barker. She tells him his wife poisoned herself and his daughter is now the ward of the warped judge who sentenced him. 


Intent on revenge, he sets up his barber business above Mrs Lovett’s shop and the two hit on the idea of turning his clients into ingredients for Mrs Lovett's pies.

The original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd and many since have been epic in scale but Sondheim's orginial vision was for a much smaller 'chamber' piece: "I wanted it to be done as a small piece because I wanted to scare people."

Pick Me Up went back to Sondheim's original intentions and staged the show in the intimate

John Cooper Studio Theatre at 41 Monkgate in York – which was transformed by director Robert

Epilogue – Sweeney Todd

Readman for the five-star-rated production of Sondheim's Assassins and has been  adapated again to match the dark dramatic mood of Sweeney Todd.


The cast is led by Nick Lewis (last seen in Pick Me Up's One Man, Two Governors) as Sweeney and Susannah Baines (The Witch in Pick Me Up's production of Sondheim's Into The Woods) as Mrs Lovett.


Fresh from their roles in the run of Assassins are Simon Radford as Tobias, Sam Hird as Anthony, Craig Kirby as Judge Turpin, and Mark Hird as The Beadle.

Maren Fagerås Nævdal – Fantine in Les Miserables earlier this year – is Johanna, Claire Pulpher (Jack's Mother ​in Into The Woods) is the Beggar Woman, and Robert Fisher is Pirelli.

Ben David Papworth makes his Pick Me ​Up debut as musical director, having won acclaim for the musical quality of a number of York productions in recent years.

City on Fire – Sweeney Todd

5-13 August 2016


Music and lyrics by

Stephen Sondheim


Book by

Hugh Wheeler


Directed by

Robert Readman


Musical Director

Ben Papworth


Adam Moore Tech 247


Ian Thomson

Set design

Robert Readman, Adam Moore


Teresa and Jane Carr


Elanor Dunn





Sweeney Todd

Nick Lewis

Mrs Lovett

Susannah Baines


Anthony Hope

Sam Hird


Maren Fagerås Nævdal


Judge Turpin

Craig Kirby


Tobias Ragg

Simon Radford

Adolfo Pirelli

Robert Fisher


The Beadle

Mark Hird


Beggar Woman

Claire Pulpher


Josh Baines

Emily Chattle

James Coldrick

Olivia Crowley

Chloe Griggs

Charlotte Hare

Rebecca Ingram

Mickey Moran

John Morgan

Chris Speight

Jennifer Tovey

Katie Western

Hannah Witcomb



Sam Johnson


Thomas Marlow


Jess Douglas


George David


Georgia Johnson


Katie Wood, Iain Harrison


Katherine Medway


Matthew Spalding


Anna Marshall

Photos by Matthew Kitchen Photography

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