The story of a Barber vindictive and a “businesswoman” cannibal It could be told in many ways: a folk tale, a play, a somber movie, or a hilarious musical, but “Sweeney Todd”, one of the most important musical works of the genre —and a centuries-old British history— is about to arrive in Saltillo in an original way.
The production of Fourth Wall Theaterwhich premieres this Sunday, September 25 at the Fernando Soler City Theaterfinally arrives on stage after almost three years of waiting, after its staging was interrupted by the pandemic, and with two performances it will seek to do justice, without losing the creative spirit of the company, to the classic by Stephen Sondheim.
“People expect to get to see a dark, sinister Sweeney Todd, which we expect from the movie of Tim Burtonbut we rescued the comedy value of Sweeney Todd, almost everything is based on comedy, without taking away what people expect from the monstrosity of the human being”, he commented Rodrigo Gonzalez, general director of the work of and the company, which also celebrates its fifth anniversary.
“We are going to relax her more and we are going to have fun and above all to play with her. I want to work something similar to the work of Peter Weiss, Marat/Sade, and what the marquis did with the madmen of Charenton that made them act without being actors. So Sweeney Todd starts from that idea, it’s not the same, but starts from there to see the play as in the process of being made”, explained the stage director, Armando Tenorio.
The proposal that they will present this Sunday at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. takes the Victorian anecdote, the power of Sondheim’s music and his humor and, inspired by the work of the Swedish playwright, will satire the dynamics of power in society .
“From the tragicomedy, what I looked for were the positions of power and how to maintain power you dehumanize everything that is below you. No one is at the top, but there are games of power and everything always falls on the ensemble that is the townlike our Greek choir,” added Tenorio.
“It’s amazing what a genius Stephen Sondheim was and I think this was his masterpiece without a doubt. It has an incredible score and lyrics,” González said about the music, “people are going to be surprised because most of them know the movie, but the vocal score was missing there and here they are going to experience it and it sounds brutal.”
Tickets to see “Sweeney Todd” can now be obtained through Cuarta Pared’s social networks. They have a cost of 250 pesos per person but there is a promotion of two accesses for 350 pesos.
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Five years of Fourth Wall
This weekend they will also fill the Teatro de la Ciudad like never before for a local independent company, with two other productions as part of their fifth anniversary.
The work will be presented on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. “A monster comes to see me”with which they were also selected for the National Theater Showand at 8:00 p.m. the concert fivewhere they will perform songs from some of the musicals they have staged, such as “In the heights”, “Avenida Q” and “Next to normal”.
“I think it is something I expected and I would like it to continue for many more years, even if I am not sure that the Fourth continues to be perpetual, but it has been a job, it has been tiring to get to where we are but it has also been very satisfying to get here. five years after we were founded”, said González about this milestone.
“Being in the National Exhibition, with such a young company, is very valuable, and being in the State Exhibition as well. We have more than 25,000 viewers and more than 200 performances and that is something that we like to highlight a lot, as well as the alliance with Disney that we have three years from now is something very cool, ”he added.
Throughout these years the company has maintained its mission of allowing directors creative freedomwhich in turn produces productions that are innovative or at least not attached to their more popular counterparts, especially in the cases of musical theater, where Broadway and the West End They are references for the public that attends these functions.
“The company has not been betrayed in what it has sought, which was not to stay in the traditional and the commercial for the commercial, but to continue exploring and that the commercial be of quality and with artistic exploration,” said Tenorio.
For a sustainable theater
One of the first things that caught the attention of Fourth Wall Theater Laboratory —as they initially identified— was the trust they placed in viewers by charging tickets of up to 250 pesos per person at a time when theatrical events rarely reached 200 pesos.
“We were never afraid to charge what we had to charge for the company’s work, everyone’s work. I think we have justified why we charge what we charge and the public has been able to appreciate it”, González explained.
This bet paid off and now they can be considered a sustainable company, an experience they want to share with the launch of the call to participate in the First Stimulus for Coahuila Theater Projects.
“We are living proof that theater is business and that you can work to make theater and that from there comes a community that works from this and has income from this. I am not going to say that it has not been difficult to maintain the mentality of the people by having to pay for this and it is part of what we have as an objective with Cuarta Pared, which the theater is not free and it is something that we are promoting with the same government institutions, that theatrical shows must charge, even if it is something symbolic, ”explained the also producer.
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“Precisely for this and because we believe that we can work with other companies, last month we launched the first economic stimulus by the Fourth Wall. It is a production hotbed so that other companies can opt for this loan so that it is a first start. We know that the initial part is forty or fifty percent of what it costs,” he added.
This call closes the 31 October this year and is open to all theater companies in Coahuila. Its objective is to “generate a culture of healthy finances and sustainable projects”, which, in addition to economic stimulus, will also have feedback for the selected group to continue implementing these strategies in future projects.