Presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Ltd.
Tuesday 4 October 2016 – Saturday 22 October 2016
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
“I believe Stephen Sondheim is a living genius,” he says. “To be in this show is a dream. It’s not a role that I ever thought I would have the honour of playing. It was never on my wish list’.
“Being the first black actor to play Sweeney Todd in the UK is an honour but with that comes a lot of fear and a lot of responsibility – but I’m so, so looking forward to the challenge”.
Sweeney Todd is set in Victorian England and charts the return to London of a barber after 15 years of exile. He plots revenge on the corrupt judge who banished him and conspires with the pie maker Mrs Lovett to exact his revenge.
Sweeney Todd made its Broadway debut in 1979 with the West End following a year later. It won both the Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical and it has been packing houses worldwide ever since. In 2007, Tim Burton released a film version starring Johnny Depp.
It’s now being revived as a Derby Theatre and Mercury Theatre Colchester production.
The title role has been played by a long and distinguished list of performers, which Hugh admits are “big shoes to walk in”.
“The fact that director Daniel Buckroyd has cast me in this role means that he can see something in me that I didn’t think I had. The creative team knows what it takes and I’m going to do my best to give them what they want.”
The future is bright for Hugh and having Sweeney Todd on his CV is not going to harm his prospects but, for now, he’s just concentrating on giving this production his all.
“I want to make the audiences in Derby and Colchester happy and I want to fulfill what Stephen Sondheim has put down in ink. I’m aware that, historically, the people of Derby love musical theatre and I want this show to go down as a winner in their eyes.
“I also want to make a mark with this character – that’s my challenge. If I do that, who knows what the future may hold.”
From and interview by Nigel Powlson
Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street opens at Derby Theatre on Tuesday 4 October 2016.
From the review by Steve Orme
“Much has been made of the fact that Maynard is the first black actor to play Sweeney Todd in the UK, he admitted he felt that put extra responsibility on him.
He should not have worried. The youngest person to have played the role of John in Miss Saigon, he is a baritone with a sumptuous, opulent voice which perfectly suits the role of Sweeney Todd, the man who could never forgive being sent to Australia for 15 years on trumped-up charges. His acting is exemplary as Todd retains the audience’s sympathy for his plight as his mental collapse leads to increasingly gory acts”.
“A bloody Good Sweeney Todd at Derby Theatre” by Phil Lowe. 12.10.16
“Daniel Buckroyd directs with razor sharp precision and the full cast mix of professionals and local (Derby) community players blend seamlessly in this ‘hot as one of Mrs Lovatt’s pies’ show.
Right from the opening company chorus of The Ballad of Sweeney Todd this disturbing yet darkly comical – sung through show – grips. Drip by bloody drip we clamour to hear the brooding emotional tale of Benjamin Barker; former Fleet Street barber turned unwitting convict, as he returns to London under a new name – Sweeney Todd. Revenge is in the air and it is palpable.
Hugh Maynard is utterly perfect as Sweeney Todd. His vital muscular presence and his strong voice constantly commands the stage in the character. He is especially good in such dark brooding numbers as The Barber and His Wife and My Friends. His relationship with Mrs Lovett (Sophie Louise Dann) is electric and Dann herself is richly joyous as the opportunistic grubby pie maker. Dann’s rendition ofThe Worst Pies In London is the best this reviewer has ever enjoyed and there is equal joy in Maynard and Dann’s duets A Little Priest and By The Sea”.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – Derby Theatre
Reviewer: Dave Smith; The Reviews Hub
“Sweeney Todd is an absolute masterpiece from the pen of musicals legend Stephen Sondheim and Derby Theatre’s current production of the show is a triumph from first bar to last.
The cast all play their part from beginning to end, mostly coping with Sondheim’s typically challenging wordplay and complex arrangements, but the central pairing of Hugh Maynard, as Sweeney, and Sophie-Louise Dann, as Mrs Lovett, stand out in every way. Maynard simmers with anger and the threat of violence, while Dann goes full-on Joan Sims for her Mrs Lovett”.
Photography by Robert Day
The legendary Miss Saigon is in cinemas for one night only. This spectacular, sell-out 25th Anniversary Gala Performance of the global stage sensation also features appearances by the original cast including Jonathan Pryce and Lea Salonga. With Hugh Maynard’s outstanding performance in the role of John.
The Daily Telegraph as has described this acclaimed new production as:
“The most thrilling, soaring and emotionally stirring musical with magnificent performances”
And the Daily Mail described it as “the greatest musical of all time”
The epic love story tells the tragic tale of young bar girl Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with with American GI Chris – but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.
Hugh Maynard’s solo debut Album ‘Hugh Maynard – Something Inside So Strong’ is the self-produced album comprising a fantastic mix of songs inspired by the fans and professionals in the music industry; it includes an amazing range of rock, soul and musical theatre covers, all of Hugh’s own arrangement.
The track list includes a vibrant collection of rock, soul and musical theatre covers giving an amazing insight to the true talent of this performer. Songs including:
This is an album that is a must for fans of iconic classic songs and of Musical Theatre; Songs that increase your heart rate and make you want to hear more, they have a unique musical arrangement that are destined to delight all those who have an appreciation of music.
PATRICIA HODGE | STEVEN PACEY
TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT
Based on the novel by GRAHAM GREENE Book by
RON COWEN and DANIEL LIPMAN
Music & Lyrics by
GEORGE STILES and ANTHONY DREWE
18 April – 4 June
With Hugh Maynard as Wordsworth.
A club-class ticket to gentle, feel-good enjoyment.
Retired bank manager Henry Pulling is happy alone with his dahlias. Until, at his mother’s funeral, he meets his only living relative, the decidedly bohemian Aunt Augusta. After she’s rattled the family skeletons, she suggests the pair flee to Europe. Henry is reluctant, but Aunt Augusta is nothing if not persuasive.Through Paris and Istanbul and on to South America, Henry soon finds himself in a luxurious whirl of glamorous flight attendants, chic hotel suites and a particularly fine couchette on the Orient Express. But alongside the romance and first-class thrills, there’s still a lot Henry doesn’t know about his aunt. Particularly how she’s paying for the high life, and why she has so many grateful men dotted around the globe.
Based on Graham Greene’s celebrated novel, this sparkling new musical written by Emmy Award-winners Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman (Betty Blue Eyes) boasts a deliciously witty score by the Olivier Award-winning team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (Chichester Festival Theatre).
Patricia Hodge plays Aunt Augusta with Hugh Maynard as her on-screen lover, Wordsworth.
Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production made a return to the West End and during it’s two year run broke all box office records.
It’s 25 years since Miss Saigon’s record breaking run at London’s Drury Lane Theatre. Since then it has played in 300 cities in 15 different languages, winning awards around the world.
This epic musical love story tells the tale of a young bar girl Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with an American GI called Chris – but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.
Hugh Maynard has delighted West End audiences as he reprised the role of John in this hugely successful revival of Miss Saigon that opened on Saturday 3rd May 2014 at Prince Edward Theatre, London.
Hugh was the youngest person ever to play the part of John in the original touring production of Miss Saigon in 2004.
‘Hugh is absolutely one of the best people who ever played this role.’
The show closed on 27 February 2016. The spectacular Anniversary Performance has been made in to an epic film due for release on the 16 October 2016.
Miss Saigon was the last of the original mega-musicals created in the West End when it originally premiered at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1989. Its return to town now – 15 years on from when that original production closed – isn’t just the chance to present a historical curiosity, but an opportunity for producer Cameron Mackintosh both to reinvent it for a new generation and reinvest it with an even bigger sense of scale and overwhelming spectacle. Mark Shenton – The Stage Review
This epic love story tells the tragic tale of young bar girl Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with an American GI called Chris–but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.
Gok Wan styled Hugh Maynard for the opening night of Miss Saigon
Hugh Maynard plays John Thomas in Laurence Connor’s critically-acclaimed revival of Boublil and Schönberg’s classic musical melodrama. As best friend to the show’s protagonist Chris, Hugh embarks on a character journey that takes him from rough-and ready G.I. to representative of an aid organisation that reconnects Bu-doi (Vietnamese street children) with their American fathers.
There’s a very significant parallel between Hugh’s fictional role as a protector of abandoned children and his real-life story. He’s spoken out about it to raise awareness of the charity he works with, Action For Children.
Hugh Maynard pretty much stops the show with “Bui Doi” – the anthem to all the forgotten children who become illegitimate casualties of war
Hugh Maynard (John) who delivers just what the audience want and more with his beautiful rendition of ‘Bui Doi’
Hugh Maynard reprises the role of John, which he performed in the 2004 UK tour, and opens act two with a stunning and soul stirring rendition of Bui Doi, which could’ve lasted for a good hour in itself and the audience would’ve lapped it up.,
Hugh Maynard reprises the role of John that he previously played in the first and second national U.K. tours of Miss Saigon. He was most recently seen in the tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. His West End credits include Sister Act and the original cast of The Lion King.
Hugh Maynard is commanding as John and he dispatches Bui Doi the opening number of the second act with great skill and compassion…
West End Star Hugh Maynard, left his home town of Torbay, South Devon, for the bright lights of London to pursue his love of acting, singing and dancing. Having trained at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) and Arts Educational Schools, Hugh has worked across the board in television, music and theatre.
While studying at Arts Ed, Hugh was chosen by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company to play the principal role of Simon Zealotes in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. Since then Hugh has continued to have a successful career in London’s West End with LION KING, NOTRE DAME de PARIS, FOLLIES, DANCING IN THE SREETS, and SISTER ACT.
2004 saw Hugh undertake the character of John in MISS SAIGON for the first time and to date is the youngest person in the history of the production to have been given the privilege of playing this role.
As the sixth member of TENORS OF ROCK (TOR), Hugh has enjoyed UK, European and American success. Having performed concerts around the world, Hugh was proud to perform with TOR as part of the 2012 World Olympic Games concert. Their debut single, Brothers In Arms, reached No.20 in the official UK rock chart holding Bon Jovi off the spot. (for a whole week)
Also this year, will see the release of Hugh’s self-titled debut album. Hugh Maynard: Something Inside So Strong. See more at: www.hugh-maynard.com & @hughmaynard
Hugh is delighted to be reprising the role of John in Cameron Mackintosh’s highly anticipated new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s MISS SAIGON in 2014.
Listen to Hugh singing the powerful and moving song from Miss Saigon. The song tells the story of the dual heritage children born from relationships with GI’s. Bui Doi translated is ‘The Dust of Life’. The children who don’t belong, who are caught between two cultures.
The genre of music I like best has to be Motown and Soul, such as Marvin Gaye, early Ike and Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Little Richard, and if thinking of more contemporary musicians Tina Turner, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey – all these artistes have had a strong influence on me because not only are they hugely talented, but they also have great voices. Other more recent influences include the talented Brian Mcknight, Bruno Mars, Lionel Richie, Jamie Fox and Stevie Wonder through the ages – These have all been inspirational and helped to shape my contribution to music.
Other inInfluences in terms of my career have included Donnie McClurkin, I also really like the way Alan Menken writes, although he is famous for Disney he is also very spiritual. I like songs that take you somewhere and inspire you, so for instance going back to Alan Menkin – I love ‘ Go The Distance’ sung by Michael Bolton.
Its hard to say when I knew that I did have a talent – even today I don’t see what is special about my voice; but I do love singing; its a way to get my feelings and emotions out – I think that’s the connection I make with people who enjoy my music, I think I’ve been doing that since I was 11 years old when I was hanging out of the attic window singing ‘Where Is Love’ from Oliver – poor neighbours! But I do like slow songs it enables me to really feel the words and to convey emotion through music – at heart i’m a real balladeer.
Career wise I look up to Jamie Foxx, Cupid Junior, and people such as Luke Evans with whom I have worked on stage. He has been really successful, however, even though he has achieved he is still an everyday guy who is ‘down to earth’, that’s what I would aspire to in my career – right now I am in the top 1% of my field but I don’t want my personality to change and I want to achieve a balance between my family, friends and my work.
I love to travel and my music has given me numerous opportunities to perform in many countries and to have the opportunity to work with some amazing people. The Countries I’ve performed in include Asia, America, Europe, Singapore, Japan, China, Macaou, Jakarta, and Bali as well as Scotland and many gigs in Wales…. A highlight i would say was on Java island in Bali with my cousin Barbara; we were looking around a theme park called Taman Mini which is a miniature village showing the layout of Jacarta. We met a youth group; one of whom engaged us in conversation wanting to know who we were and what work I did, within minutes I had a microphone in my hand and began singing a beautiful Indonesian love song called Bukan Cinta Biasa; almost immediately the quadrant had filled with children and young people with their parents, youth workers and other visitors to the park, they were waiving in unison as though they were at a concert. We had only gone there to check out the miniature scale of Indonesia and it turned into a Hugh Maynard concert – it was an amazing and fantastic experience.
Another highlight was playing in Las vegas with the Tenors of Rock; we were the only band to have played so many venues in such a short time in Vegas – we invited Pricilla Presley and were totally delighted that she accepted our invitation. She felt we were ‘infectious’ (in a good way I hope…) She was a lovely demure lady – we felt we were truly blessed.
Success is measured on so many different levels. I think its about focus and commitment and about believing in yourself and what you are doing. If you are lucky like me, having the support of even one person makes a huge difference; to be able to talk with that person about your dreams helps you on the journey. I really feel the luckiest guy in the world because my voice has enabled me to travel around the world; in fact that is the reason I have travelled around the world, audiences have welcomed me – i’m lucky and I have been blessed, I have a year in Miss Saigon and I may get a second year and if not i’ll go where my voice leads me.
Hugh was abandoned by his mother at just a few weeks old. He spent the first eight years of his life in and out of residential care and foster homes. Hugh moved to permanent foster carers aged eight years old, they moved to Torbay, and with the love and support of the family and of a wealth of close and caring friends, Hugh was helped through his formative years until successfully achieving a scholarship to University and Drama School.
Hugh made his West End debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar playing Simon. Since then he has appeared in the Lion King, Notre Dame de Paris, Follies, Dancing in the Streets, Sister Act and he was cast as John in the original tour of Miss Saigon.
Hugh has enjoyed success touring the UK, Europe and America singing with the rock group the Tenors of Rock. Hugh also performed at the 2012 London Olympic Games concert and he sang with the Tenors of Rock on the X Factor series in 2013 reaching the judges home stage with Gary Barlow.
Hugh Maynard is delighted to have the opportunity to reprise the role of John in Cameron Mackintosh’s highly anticipated new production of Miss Saigon which opened on Saturday 3rd May 2014 at Prince Edward Theatre, London.
Hugh was the youngest person ever to play the part of John in the original touring production of Miss Saigon in 2004.
‘Hugh is absolutely one of the best people who ever played this role.’ – Cameron Mackintosh
In addition to his highly successful acting, singing and dancing career, Hugh’s TV credits include Wycliffe and The Bill.
He is also a great cook, talented athlete and accomplished photographer. Hugh’s passion is music and he has spent most of his working life in the music industry. However, in the early days whilst studying and preparing for drama school he spent time working in fast food outlets, employment as a lifeguard, he modelled sports wear, and he has also worked in a language school.
Today Hugh lives in Lincolnshire and when not acting or singing, he supports children through local charities and he is an supporter for disabled children with the charity ‘ACTION FOR CHILDREN.’ Hugh also delivers key note presentations at seminars for professionals who work with children and young people where he uses his own experiences to advise participants how to help young people develop resilience in the face of trauma and difficult experiences.
Hugh Maynard has had strong community links with Lincolnshire for a number of years. He has worked with both children and young people and with professionals in many different ways. For instance he has been a guest speaker at a number of conferences organised by Lincolnshire Children’s Services, for professionals across a range or organisations, where he has shared his experiences of living in residential and foster care. He gives a moving and inspirational account of his early childhood experiences of being raised in care, he talks about the people who inspired him to work hard and those who supported him to achieve his ambitions. It’s a story of courage and commitment, of overcoming difficulties and rising above adversity.
Hugh is a goodwill ambassador for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. This is the longest serving women’s peace organisation in the world. It has been fighting for a more holistic approach to peacemaking for 100 years, bringing together human rights, the protection of the environment, economic and social justice and disarmament, in rejection of militarism, inequality and patriarchy as root causes of conflict. WILPF stretches from local to global, as a community of peacemakers working on grassroots activism to international advocacy.
Hugh supports the work of this organisation and will be volunteering his time to perform for delegates at their conference scheduled to take place in the Hague from the 27 to 29 April 2015. For more information about the conference please go to: www.womenstopwar.org
Hugh says ‘I am proud to be a part of this amazing organisation and support the work that they do across the world to reduce sexual violence and promote peace and freedom’.
To learn more about the organisation please go to: www.wilpfinternational.org
Background: Madeleine Rees, Secretary General WILPF speaking at the 2014 London Global Summit “End Sexual Violence In Conflict”