Stage & Movie

SWEENEY TODD

Stockholm City Theatre 2013

As for most of us musical fanatics, Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” has earned its place on the list of my favorite musicals. The music and lyrics are fantastic, the story captivating and as a performer it gives you a real challenge!

At the time I was offered to go to Broadway to do “Phantom of the Opera”, I got a request to put up a show at the Stockholm City Theatre. I thought that people would be curious to see what I’d do after performing on Broadway, so I wanted to choose something unexpected, and something I knew a private theatre in Stockholm wouldn’t have in their first line of choice, so I suggested “Sweeney Todd”. I imagined the audience being amazed by Sondheim’s work just by walking into the theatre, and maybe this would create possibilities for more of his fantastic work to be performed in the future. I knew that “Sweeney” would be a big challenge for me, but that’s what I love the most about it. “The only way to grow is to challenge yourself”.

Playing “Sweeney” became an exciting journey for me, and working with Vanna Rosenberg, who played “Mrs Lovett”, turned this into one of the most joyful experiences I have ever had on a stage. It had been a while sine the last time I performed in Sweden, therefore I got to work with a lot of great people I’d never met before.

We were a creative team with Tobias Theorell as director, Magdalena Åberg scenography, my brother Mikael Jöback was musical director, Susanne von Platen did make-up and hair, Ellen Ruge light technician, Oscar Johansson sound engineer and my close friend Roine Söderlundh did choreography.

A funny fact is that is that while I was in New York doing “Phantom of the Opera” our director was the legend Hal Prince. Hal was the director on the original set of “Sweeney Todd”!! So I took the opportunity to talk to him about my role, how they envisioned the original set of the musical, and what they wanted to convey with the story more than to just scare the audience. We had many interesting and inspiring conversations and I got a brilliant lecture in history.

Sweeney Todd is a role that I’d love to do again sometime in the future.