Friday, 8 June 2012

Five theatre villains we love to hate

Phantom of the Opera musical
(Photo courtesy of Valerie Everett on Flickr)
Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, villains are an essential part of the drama of live theatre.
Here are five theatre villains we love to hate:
A worldwide audience of over 130 million have watched The Phantom of the Opera down the years – and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece is still as popular as ever! Part of its appeal is down to the disfigured, sewer-dwelling Phantom as his infatuation with Christine DaaĆ© simmers away before he takes drastic action to try and win her over.
Bill Sykes
Oliver! just wouldn’t be the same without good, old Bill Sykes. Well, that should be bad, old Bill Sykes, but you get the idea. A violent drunk, Sykes beats up his trusty sidekick Bull’s Eye, long-suffering girlfriend Nancy and pretty much anyone or anything that gets in his way. Sykes is old school, really old school.
Miss Trunchbull
“They’re all mistakes, children! Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one,” is a memorable line from Miss Agatha Trunchbull that tells you everything you need to know about her. It’s fair to say she doesn’t have much time for Matilda, but she gets her comeuppance when she is outwitted by the enchanting Matilda Wormwood.
Who thought cute lions could be so evil? Mind you, Scar is not exactly cute in The Lion King and he does little to endear himself to audiences as he attempts to plot the downfall of the plucky Simba and Mufasa with mixed outcomes. Needless to say, Simba has the last laugh after an epic fight scene and Scar is savaged by hyenas.
The man dubbed The Demon Barber of Fleet Street had a penchant for pies with unusual fillings in Sweeney Todd. It’s gruesome, it’s graphic, it’s gory and it’s good fun in a twisted kind of way. Brutally brilliant, Todd is played by Michael Ball in the current West End performance and the experienced entertainer revels in the dark side of a role portrayed by Johnny Depp in the 2007 film version.
Who’s your favourite West End baddie? Let us know…

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