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Can’t let today pass without sending a huge TOI TOI TOI to everyone at Welsh National Opera for their new production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, prior to its opening at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff tonight. They were kind enough to show a small party of press around backstage prior to the dress rehearsal on Tuesday; for the first time in years, I was able to make it and see all the backstage features they’ve long been talking about – the wig room:

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the in-house laundry (lots of blood to get out of all those costumes):

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the famous “Scenery Street” that links all their backstage areas and rehearsal rooms:

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…and of course the bar with its huge multilingual inscriptions that double as windows (and which serves G&Ts with Penderyn gin).

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I’ve long known what a decent bunch they are at WNO, but they looked after us famously. The best bit, though – apart from the show itself, which I’ll be previewing in the Birmingham Post and reviewing at the Birmingham Hippodrome next month; meanwhile, take it from me and just GO AND SEE IT – was being literally backstage and seeing a lot of this sort of thing.

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Well, it’s Sweeney Todd, after all…what did you expect? The blood may not be real, but the pies most certainly are. Mmm…pies… Mmmm…Sondheim…

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