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Shetland Arts is pleased to reveal that the next production by Shetland Youth Theatre is to be new version of Sweeney Todd.

For more than 150 years the legend of Sweeney Todd has fed the appetites of those hungry for ghoulish and violent tales. The story, originally titled A String of Pearls first captured the imagination of Victorian Britain in 1846, serialized as a Penny Dreadful periodical aimed at the working poor. The weekly episodes caused such an impact that the story was dramatized by George Dibdin Pitt before the ending had even been revealed in print, and ever since a variety of entertaining adaptations have continued to grip the public’s imagination.

This new version, by John Haswell, returns to the Penny Dreadful roots and has been written in a style reminiscent of Victorian Melodrama.

“Although melodrama is often seen as a very dated form of theatre, it can be great fun,” said Mr Haswell. “It is a direct form of storytelling that revels in its own theatricality. There is no ambiguity about Todd in this version. The script does not attempt to show him as a damaged victim. Our Todd is evil through and through and all the more fun as a result. This will be Gothic gore at its most entertaining!”

Although the production is not being described as a musical, the script does contain a number of original songs to keep the action accessible and entertaining

The first meeting/rehearsal is to be held on Tuesday night (27 August) at the Garrison Theatre from 6 – 9pm. There will be an intensive rehearsal period of five weeks with performance scheduled for the beginning of October.

Shetland Youth Theatre is always keen to welcome new members and is open to young people aged 12 -21.

“I am hoping for a large cast’ said Mr Haswell, “and would be delighted if a lot of new faces came along to the Garrison on Tuesday night.”

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