Exclusive: Historic pie and mash shop to host site-specific Sweeney Todd
Producers describe the project, which was funded through Kickstarter, as 'a long-held dream'
One of London's oldest pie and mash shops is set to host a site-specific staging of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, in a collaboration that was made possible through crowd funding.
Tooting Arts Club has teamed up with the local Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop on the production, which opens next month (27 October 2014) for a five-week run.
Audiences will congregate at Anton's barber shop before being shown through to Harrington's, where the décor, little changed since it was opened in 1908, will provide the setting for Mrs Lovett's infamous cannibalistic establishment.
Director Bill Buckhurst sad: "This will be Sondheim's Sweeney Todd stripped-back and up-close with a cast of eight, a band of three and a uniquely atmospheric space - the perfect setting for this thrilling tale of love, betrayal, lust and murder."
There are just 32 seats in the shop, which charges £1.50 for a pie and £1 for a scoop of mash.
"A pie shop by day and a theatre venue by night "
David Sydney Johnson, who has been working at Harrington's for 46 years and is currently the sole pie maker, said: "Harrington's has been serving pies to the people of Tooting for over a hundred years, but this is the first time we've ever staged a theatre show.
"We're really looking forward to being a pie shop by day and a theatre venue by night and excited to welcome customers old and new to enjoy the show, and of course our pies."
The project was funded through a Kickstarter campaign, which saw 58 backers commit over £4,000.
"It has been a long-held dream to do Sweeney Todd at this venue," said producer Rachel Edwards, "and I am so pleased that it has been made possible by the generosity of the owners of Harrington's.
"This project sums up exactly what TAC is about - creating inventive work that is born out by exciting collaborations with people at the heart of the Tooting community. It will be - and already is - a remarkable adventure."
Sweeney Todd runs at Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop from 27 October (previews from 21 October) to 29 November 2014