You really do NOT want to eat these pies...

York Light Opera brings Sweeney Todd to Theatre Royal. Pictured: Neil Wood as Sweeney Todd and Julie-Anne Smith as Mrs Lovett. Plus, of course, a pie...
York Light Opera brings Sweeney Todd to Theatre Royal. Pictured: Neil Wood as Sweeney Todd and Julie-Anne Smith as Mrs Lovett. Plus, of course, a pie...

IF there's nothing you like more for dinner than a good pie, then you might just want to be careful about what you're eating next month. Because a certain demon barber and his pie-making accomplice are coming to York...

York Light Opera Company will be bringing Stephen Sondheim's thrilling, gruesome classic Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to York Theatre Royal from February 22-March 4. Pies, thankfully, NOT included in the price of a ticket.

It will be a performance that marks the light opera company's 70th year.

And director Martyn Knight is under no illusions about the extent of the challenge he and his company have taken on.

"Over 80 per cent of Sweeney Todd is set to music, either sung or underscoring dialogue," he said.

"Our principals and ensemble are proving that York Light can deliver this challenging score.

"We have established leading performers with years of experience and some very good up-and-coming new talent in the younger roles.”

For those who don't know - can there be anyone who doesn't know? - the musical tells the unsettling, yet witty and often grimly funny tale of a misanthropic barber who returns home to Georgian London after fifteen years of exile to seek vengeance on the corrupt judge who ruined his life.

The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs Lovett, the resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which Todd opens a new barber practice.

Mrs Lovett's luck quickly changes when Todd provides a new ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up. But what is it? That would be telling...

Often described as being composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim's most perfect score - with highlights including The Ballad of Sweeney Todd, Not While I'm Around, A Little Priest and Green Finch and Linnet Bird - Sweeney Todd is a 'tasty, thrilling, theatrical masterpiece', the Theatre Royal says.

The York Light Opera production features Neil Wood as the maniacal Sweeney Todd and Julie-Anne Smith as his accomplice Mrs Lovett.

Other cast members include Madeleine Hicks as Johanna, Maximus Mawle as Anthony Hope, prolific York Lighter Rory Mulvihill as Judge Turpin, York Theatre Royal’s own box office manager Richard Bayton as Beadle Bamford, Jonny Holbek as Tobias Ragg, Clare Meadley as the Beggar Woman and Martin Lay as Adolfo Pirelli.

York Light Opera Company presents Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at York Theatre Royal from February 22 - March 4. Evening performances (not on Sunday February 26) at 7.30pm; matinées Saturday Feb 25 and March 4 at 2.30pm.

Tickets £15 -£30 from the Theatre Royal at www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/whats-on/