Almost 60 Millfield pupils from across Drama, Dance and Music departments joined together to present the school’s spring musical, Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’, to an audience of family, friends and members of the local community at Millfield’s Meyer Theatre.
The production, which the pupils have been rehearsing since September 2018, follows the titular Sweeney Todd as he reinvents himself as a murderous barber in modern day London.
Due to the high level of talent at audition stage, the production team decided to ‘double-cast’, meaning that the show’s nine lead characters were played by two sets of actors. The lead of Sweeney was played by both Upper Sixth pupil Seb Berkeley and Lower Sixth pupil Rowan Wilson, while Upper Sixth pupil Florence Lunnon and Year 10 Esmé Ellis respectively took on the role of Mrs Lovett, Sweeney Todd’s would-be wife.
Many pupils, including pupils from St Dunstan’s School in Glastonbury, were also involved backstage in set design, stage management and hair and makeup, where they learned their craft during a specific Millfield activity programme run by Meyer Theatre Manager, Paul Siequien, and parent Laura Zaky.
The music for the show was performed by a 20-strong pit orchestra based below the stage, giving pupils the opportunity for industry specific experience and a heightened aural product outside of a traditional concert hall.
Millfield’s Director in Residence, Felix Pilgrim, says, “To see all of the pupils working together to put on such a spectacle of a show for the community has been utterly inspiring. I could not be prouder of all of the pupils involved, who have shown true professionalism, hard work and talent, and I cannot wait to see where this opportunity to perform leads them in the future.”