Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street moves into the Derby Theatre from 30 September to 22 October 2016. Sophie-Louise Dann plays Mrs Lovett opposite fellow West End star Hugh Maynard as Sweeney. Sophie’s is a name that was already familiar to me, indeed as I’m a theatre blogger, it should be tripping off my tongue. However, this incredibly talented lady was also known to me as she was at Arts Educational Schools, Chiswick at the same time as my very own husband!
It’s a privilege to include an interview on the site, with Sophie and without further ado…Thank you so much for talking to Break A Leg. How does it feel to be taking on an iconic role in Sweeney Todd?
Mrs Lovett has always been a role I would love to inhabit. I like to think I can pay homage to the great Dame Angela Lansbury within my version.
Had you any preconceived ideas about the way you wanted to play her and has that changed now that you’re in rehearsals?
I always think character development is part of the collaborative process in rehearsal; of course, as an actress, one has a clear idea of how you want to play the role and a good director will tweak that interpretation where needed.
Have you got a favourite musical number or scene from the show yet?
The score is a masterpiece! But I love A Little Priest and Worst Pies in London – they have echoes of the great Music Hall numbers which is a genre I love – though rarely performed these days.
What do you feel the strengths of this production are?
The cast. The design. The team. All marvellous.
Have you played the Derby theatre before and how do you feel that the space will lend itself to the piece?
This is my third contract in Derby. Previously here with Stepping Out and Broken Hearted. We are using the revolve which helps move the action along seamlessly …
What do you hope the audience will take away with them from this piece?
Much like the trend for TV Victorian gothic horror such as Penny Dreadful and Ripper Street – the audience can expect to have a musical experience of an iconic fable from this period.
What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket to come and see the show?
Support your local theatre! I’m delighted that it now has Arts Council funding again – giving back great theatre to the Community.
Finally, just for fun, what would be the worst possible pie filling for you?
Mrs Mooney allegedly fills her pies with the neighbourhood pussycats – I couldn’t think of anything worse… Eek!
Huge thanks to Sophie, I know she has a hectic schedule so I am grateful for her time.