Saskatoon Summer Players will dive into a darker world with upcoming performances of Sweeney Todd, the story of a barber who kills his patrons.The production marks the first time Sweeney Todd has been produced in Saskatoon. Director Bobby Williston says bringing the show to the city “marks a development in Saskatoon theatre,” as well as a “development for Saskatoon Summer Players.”“Going back 20 years in Saskatoon, I don’t think Summer Players would have brought this show, and I don’t know if audiences would have come to see it,” Williston said.Although it’s based on a grotesque legend, at its core, it’s also a human story, with characters that have a little more depth than the blood effects that will also be present in the production, he said.“The story that’s actually told is one of this barber who’s lost everything, and he ends up on this path of revenge for the wrongs that were done to him, for the life that was ripped from him.”
Director Bobby Williston speaks to the cast during a rehearsal of Saskatoon Summer Players’ Production of Sweeney Todd in Saskatoon, SK on Saturday, June 15, 2019.
Kayle Neis /
The show is set in 19th century London. Sweeney Todd, played by B.J. Dyck, runs into Mrs. Lovett, played by Amanda Trulicz-Lapointe, on his road to revenge. Lovett is the proprietress of a failing pie shop, whose luck takes a sharp turn for the better when Todd opens up his barber practice above her shop.The show, which runs from June 29 to July 7, is based on an adaptation by Christopher Bond, with music by Stephen Sondheim.Williston said Sweeney Todd is not necessarily a show where audiences could bring the whole family, like the Sound of Music or Fiddler on the Roof — it’s on the darker side of theatre, and portrays a darker side of humanity.“The fact that we’re bringing a riskier show to Saskatoon — and I believe tickets are selling well — brings me hope as a director, an actor and a theatre goer that theatre is alive and well in Saskatoon and audiences are willing to go out on a limb and see something they haven’t seen before,” he said.The cast features 34 people, but more than 100 volunteers work on the show. Williston said he believes audiences will be “amazed at the talent” present in all of the volunteers, from the cast and the orchestra to the people working behind the scenes on sets, props, and costumes.“It’s a story that will make you laugh; if we do it right, it may make you cry — there is something for everyone here, and I think if people want to see a spectacle that has depth and beauty and story and character, they should come see this show.”email@example.com/lawlor_alexa