Two days before completing their oft-extended West End run, the cast of Sweeney Todd gathered on stage last night (3 February 2005) at the New Ambassadors Theatre to collect the 2005 Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Ensemble.

The nine actor-musicians (and four understudies) beat off stiff competition from the Christian Slater-led cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for the Ensemble prize. But even more hotly contested was the show’s triumph over another Stephen Sondheim hit, the National’s Travelex £10 season staging of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. More than 11,000 theatregoers voted in this year’s awards and, in the end, Sweeney Todd pulled ahead in the race to be named Best Musical Revival with a lead of a mere seven votes!

John Doyle, who directed and designed the production, joined the cast yesterday to accept the award for Best Musical Revival. Sweeney Todd - which started life at Newbury’s 216-seat Watermill Theatre a year ago, before touring and then transferring to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios and on to the New Ambassadors - has also been nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award and is due to transfer to Broadway later this year.

The West End cast (pictured) features: Paul Hegarty (as Todd), Karen Mann (Mrs Lovett), Michael Howcroft (Beadle), Stephanie Jacob (Pirelli/Fogg), Rebecca Jackson (Beggar Woman), Rebecca Jenkins (Johanna), Sam Kenyon (Tobias), David Ricardo-Pearce (Anthony) and Colin Wakefield (Judge).

- by Terri Paddock

To view the full list of winners & nominees as well as further acceptance
remarks & voting percentages, click here. And look out for more
awards presentations over the coming days & weeks.

Sweeney Todd ensemble with their award

Director John Doyle collects the trophy for Best Musical Revival