When a student learned he would have to wield a cut throat razor to portray one of the most infamous fictional murderers in history in his school play, he had to turn to a professional for help.
To prepare him for his role as Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, Charlie Moody has been given a lesson in how to shave by Thomas Edwards of Thomas William Gentlemen’s barber in Haverhill High Street.
He was shown how to lather with an old fashioned brush and soap as well as being shown how to effectively shave with the traditional blade.
He also picked up some tricks on how to hold the razor to make himself look more professional and to demonstrate a little flare.
The production at Castle Manor Academy is a non musical version of the story and is cast from only the older students at the academy due to the darker nature of the story.
For this reason it may be unsuitable for the squeamish or for very young children.
Drama teacher and director, Steve Powter, said: “It is great that a local business found the time to give us some invaluable help for the show.
“Charlie has been working really hard with his character and this has helped him to put the icing on the cake. “I just happened to notice that Thomas William offered traditional wet shaves and I thought I would give them a call to see if they could help, there was no hesitation at all and Thomas was very generous with his time.
“Charlie seemed to learn a lot, little details like this make all the difference to a performance.”
Year 12 student Charlie Moody said: “I haven’t ever done a serious play before, my first real time on stage was last year in Bugsy Malone when I played Fat Sam.
“This has been a lot harder, there’s just so much detail to think about, so when it came to the shaving it was a great help to learn from a professional.
“Playing a barber who is an expert in his field is very hard when you don’t have a clue what you’re doing!”
Sweeney Todd is a fictional character who first appeared as the main protagonist of the Victorian penny dreadful The String of Pearls (1846–47).
The tale became a staple of Victorian melodrama and London urban legend, and has been retold many times since, including the musical film directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.
Tickets are available by calling the academy during open hours on 705501 (extension 323) and are £5 (£4 concessions).