Ever since the Hayes Theatre Co opened its doors in Potts Point, Sydney – a small-scale venue dedicated to musical theatre – people have been asking when it was going to stage a musical by the great, massively influential Stephen Sondheim. Finally, three years since it began shaking up the musical theatre scene in Sydney, the Hayes is producing Sondheim’s Assassins. “There is a lot of pressure running a musical theatre venue, and it was about choosing the right Sondheim at the right time,” says David Campbell, one of the producers who run the Hayes.

David Campbell as John Wilkes Booth in Assassins. Photograph © Johnny Diaz Nicolaidis

“An opportunity came along to look at a Sondheim piece and the crux was Lisa [Campbell, his wife and fellow producer] and Dean [Bryant, the director] going, ‘this is a pretty fortuitous time to do Assassinsconsidering the state of the world, particularly the state of politics in America and the state of public discourse in America’, and so it was a bit of a no-brainer really.”

First staged in 1991, Assassinsis a darkly entertaining, revue-style musical about nine man and women...