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Johnny Depp sends good-luck card to drama group

PUBLISHED: 06:25 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:11 06 July 2010

As actors in Beccles prepare for the opening night of their new musical production, a Hollywood well-wisher has put pen to paper to settle their pre-show nerves.

As actors in Beccles prepare for the opening night of their new musical production, a Hollywood well-wisher has put pen to paper to settle their pre-show nerves.

Film star and A-list heart-throb Johnny Depp has sent a good-luck card to members of the Spotlight musical theatre group as they get ready to take to the stage in Sweeney Todd next week.

Mr Depp played Sweeney Todd in a 2007 film version of the musical, which tells the story of a murderous barber who slits the throats of wealthy customers, bakes their flesh into pies and sells them to unsuspecting customers in the next-door pie shop.

Although he is currently busy filming in Puerto Rico for his latest blockbuster, The Rum Diary, the Oscar-winning actor took time out of his busy schedule to send a signed photograph and good-luck message to the theatre company.

Debbie Lambert, who will be playing pie-shop owner and murderous accomplice Mrs Lovett in the show at Beccles Public Hall, said: "It was an amazing surprise when this arrived in the post."

She added: "When we do a new show, we often write to stars who have been in either films or productions of it, just on the off-chance that they'll write back, so this time we wrote to Johnny, Helena Bonham Carter and writer Stephen Sondheim.

"I'm so pleased that Johnny has taken the time to write back and wish us luck - no one has ever bothered to write back before."

This is not the first time the Hollywood star has shown an affection for East Anglia and even his Sweeney Todd film has links to Norfolk as a post-premiere party was held at the Elme Hall Hotel in Wisbech following the first London screening of the movie in January last year.

Stephen Picton, who will be playing Sweeney Todd in the Spotlight production, said he was looking forward to taking on the role which Mr Depp has made famous.

He said: "There's a lot more humour in the stage version, and also a lot more singing. Sweeney Todd is a scary character and although the story is dark, it is genuinely funny."

The Spotlight production of Sweeney Todd plays at Beccles Public Hall from June 23 to 27. Performances are at 7.45pm and there will be a Saturday matinee show at 2.30pm. Tickets are available from Saxon, 35 Newmarket, Beccles.

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