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Sunday 20 May 2018

President Higgins is surprise guest at launch of Sweeney Todd

Esther Hayden

President Michael D Higgins at the launch of Wexford Light Opera Society’s production of ‘Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’, with Ted Howlin, WLOS President; Sean Meyler, who launched the show; Marion Doyle; and Betty O’Brien
President Michael D Higgins at the launch of Wexford Light Opera Society’s production of ‘Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’, with Ted Howlin, WLOS President; Sean Meyler, who launched the show; Marion Doyle; and Betty O’Brien

Hit musical Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, was launched in Clayton Whites Hotel on Saturday night.

The award-winning musical will be brought to life by the Wexford Light Opera Society (WLOS) at the National Opera House for six nights from Monday, April 30 until Saturday, May 5 at 8 p.m. nightly.

Special guest on the night was President Michael D Higgins who was in Wexford in advance of the Redmond 100 celebrations.

Pat Lawlor of WLOS said they were delighted when they heard President Higgins would attend the launch.

'It was very unexpected but it was fantastic. We didn't know until that evening that he was going to attend so it was a super surprise for the members. The youngsters, in particular, were delighted to see him. President Higgins was like a pop star going around and everyone wanted to get a picture with him. He was very generous with his time and spoke to the members and the staff and posed for lots of photographs. It gave the whole launch an extra buzz.'

Pat said that ticket sales for the show are very brisk.

The show was launched by Sean Meyler who said months of rehearsals had gone into the forthcoming production which features a fantastic cast and chorus.

The musical thriller by Stephen Sondheim is being brought to the stage in association with Cut n Shave Barbers of Wexford,

The story revolves around the evil Judge Turpin lusts for the beautiful wife of a London barber and transports him to Australia for a crime he did not commit. Returning after 15 years and calling himself Sweeney Todd, the barber vows revenge, applying his razor to unlucky customers and shuttling the bodies down to Mrs. Lovett, who uses them in her meat-pie shop. Though many fall to his blade, he will not be satisfied until he slits Turpin's throat.

The show has won many Tony and West End Theatre Awards and was made into an Oscar winning move a few years ago starring Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd.

In the WLOS production Sweeney Todd is played by Tony Carty while Catherine Walsh takes on the role of Mrs Lovett. Brendan Long is Anthony Hope, Ciara Cullinane is Joanna, John Crosbie is Judge Turpin and Michael O'Gorman is Tobias.

Mick Farrell will play Beadle Bamford and Antonia Close is the Beggar Woman. Pirelli will be played by George Lawlor while Pat Lawlor will take on the role of Fogg.

The show has an amazing score and promises to be a visual and aural treat from the award winning musical society and production team lead by director Vivian Coates, musical director, Fintan Cleary, chorus mistress, Eithne Corrigan, choreographer, Debbie Kiernan, stage manager, Colin Murphy and wardrobe mistress, Anne Reck.

Booking for the show is now open and tickets range between €22.50 and €25 with concessions for students and OAPs on opening night. The nightly sponsors are: Bolands Mercedes, McCauleys Chemists, Clayton Whites Hotel, McDonald Solicitors and Whitford House Hotel.

Wexford People

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