Jason Manford is to swap his razor-sharp wit for razor-sharp, well, razors when he joins the cast of Sweeney Todd.
The comedian, who is a familiar face from TV shows including 8 Out Of 10 Cats and The One Show, will play competing barber Pirelli in Sondheim’s bloody musical for four weeks, between 2 and 27 July, while the role’s regular performer Robert Burt is on holiday.
The news was announced at the weekend, when Sweeney Todd star Michael Ball was promoting the production on The Jonathan Ross Show. Coincidentally Manford, who is better known for his humour than his high notes, sang Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop Of Horrors when he appeared on Ross’s chat show in 2009.
The Jonathan Kent-directed production of Sweeney Todd, which received much acclaim when it ran in Chichester last year, begins previewing in the West End this week, before opening on 20 March.
Ball is joined in the tale of a barber with bloodlust by Imelda Staunton as the conspiratorial Mrs Lovett, who has a delicious way of disposing with bodies. The cast also includes West End veteran Peter Polycarpou and rising musical theatre star Lucy May Barker.