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The imminent challenges of Sweeney Todd 
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Post The imminent challenges of Sweeney Todd
In about two years from now, my college will be doing ST. I'm aware that this will be a challenge, particularly in finding musicians and a good set design. I don't think that finding actors will be an issue (except for possibly someone to play Beadle or Pirielli). What do the rest of you think the big challenges will be?

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Last edited by Apples2for10 on Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:46 am
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The chair.
and the razor.

but both can be rented,
i think.


Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:24 pm
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I would say the chair and the whole chute/trapdoor as a single unit could be tricky.

The razors aren't that difficult to make. It really shouldn't be hard for a college.

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Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:16 pm
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The chair is actually not that complicated, if you have people who are decent engineers. :)

I'm directing a production of Sweeney Todd now, and the biggest problem I'm facing is the steam whistle, simply because I'm having trouble finding a working one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

We have a chair, though, and it works beautifully. As for the razors, some pipettes from a local science or hobby supply, and some glue & tape are all you need to turn a regular razor into a blood-razor. Bear in mind that the blood razors cannot open and close, so you'll have to have others for "My Friends" and Pirelli, at least. I have ten... seven in the 'my friends' set, one for Pirelli, and two blood razors.


Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:18 am
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^The pipette's are really clever! I had never thought of that before. The ones I had seen online were really complicated with lots of internal mechanisms and such. I do remember hearing that the whistle is another challenge. I think there was a topic about it on here a while back.


Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:01 am
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Thankya! Yeah, most prop knives like that are needlessly complex and pricey, meant for close-up camera work, usually. Stage weapons can be much simpler.

An update: as a matter of fact, I found a steam whistle today! These guys had one in their Ebay store:

http://livesteamcalibration.ieasysite.com/

http://stores.ebay.com/akrailways

It's a scale model whistle, so it's pretty tiny, but he sounded it for me over the phone and it has just the shrill, screeching tone that Sweeney Todd needs. The whistle was $45, and for another $20 they'll custom-fit it to my air compressor's hose. Pretty sweet deal, and the owner was very helpful on the phone. Just posting it here for the benefit of other productions, as the information was sadly absent on the 'net when I was researching it.


Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:52 pm
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Does anyone else think that a good Pirrelli and Beadle will be hard to find?

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Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:32 pm
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Eh. You just need two really high operatic tenors. A college with a decent choir or opera program should have someone who fits the bill.


Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:40 pm
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Pirelli needn't be an operatic tenor if one isn't available. There's a debate over whether he should be a virtuosic opera singer or sound like a guy impersonating an opera singer with a bad falsetto.

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Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:29 am
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The score is TOUGH to learn, even for talented musicians.

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Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:25 am
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Monsieur D'Arque wrote:
Pirelli needn't be an operatic tenor if one isn't available. There's a debate over whether he should be a virtuosic opera singer or sound like a guy impersonating an opera singer with a bad falsetto.
Well, in most professional productions it's a legit tenor. For a faker in the part, I haven't really heard an example to judge (unless you count the movie).


Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:34 am
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kaelidancer wrote:
Thankya! Yeah, most prop knives like that are needlessly complex and pricey, meant for close-up camera work, usually. Stage weapons can be much simpler.

An update: as a matter of fact, I found a steam whistle today! These guys had one in their Ebay store:

http://livesteamcalibration.ieasysite.com/

http://stores.ebay.com/akrailways

It's a scale model whistle, so it's pretty tiny, but he sounded it for me over the phone and it has just the shrill, screeching tone that Sweeney Todd needs. The whistle was $45, and for another $20 they'll custom-fit it to my air compressor's hose. Pretty sweet deal, and the owner was very helpful on the phone. Just posting it here for the benefit of other productions, as the information was sadly absent on the 'net when I was researching it.


Couldn't just a recording of a steam whistle work? The audience won't see it, so why waste money renting one?

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Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:45 pm
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