Sarah Travis is a British orchestrator and musical supervisor for theatre and film. She received the Tony Award for Best Orchestrations and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations for the 2005 revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.
She has been the musical supervisor and/or orchestrator for many musicals, both in the West End and at regional British theatres. Some of the latter include Crazy for You and Me and My Girl (Aberystwyth); Annie (Belfast Lyric); Pal Joey (York). Additionally, she has composed music for several shows, such as Dick Whittington at the Barbican Centre, and seven other pantomimes for Chipping Norton. She was the musical director and arranger for Privates on Parade at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company (15 September 2008 to 11 October 2008).
Travis has had a long relationship with the Watermill Theatre, Newbury. Several of her productions there have gone on to West End runs. Her Watermill productions have included Piaf, a play by Pam Gems, for which Travis prepared musical arrangements for an "abbreviated version" in 2001. She composed the original music for A Star Danced (2003) and arranged a swing version of H.M.S. Pinafore, entitled Pinafore Swing, in 2004. One reviewer mentioned her "glorious arrangements".
She was the musical supervisor and orchestrator of the revival of Sweeney Todd, which started at the Watermill Theatre in 2004 and transferred to both the West End (2004) and Broadway (2005). Stephen Sondheim said of Travis' work on this production: "I think what she's done is absolutely brilliant.... The variety of sounds she's gotten out of the instruments and also the practical way in which they allow John [Doyle] to work with the performers onstage is extraordinary. But what got me most about the orchestrations is what they did for the play's atmosphere. These are wonderfully weird textures."
She is working with producer-director Craig Revel Horwood on several projects, in the theatre production company CRH Theatre Productions, including a jazz version of La Traviata and the 2010-11 UK tour of Chess, which also transferred to the Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto in September 2011. Their revival of Sunset Boulevard opened in the West End at the Comedy Theatre, in December 2008, after first playing at the Watermill Theatre in July 2008. The latest collaboration with Craig Revel-Horwood is Fiddler on the Roof, which is currently touring the UK with Paul Michael-Glaser as Tevye.
- Biography sunsetlondon.com, accessed 25 July 2009
- Listing, Privates on Parade, West Yorkshire Playhouse, accessed 25 July 2009
- Timperley, John. "Review: Piaf", whatsonstage.com, 16 October 2001
- Paddock, Terri. "Review":Watermill Debuts Star Musical as New Gigolo Travels," whatsonstage.com, 15 September 2003
- Herman, Judi. "Review":Pinafore Swing", whatsonstage.com, 30 July 2004
- Paddock, Terri. "Exclusive: Watermill Transfers Todd to Trafalgar," whatsonstage.com, 17 June 2004
- Isherwood, Charles. "Cutting 'Sweeney Todd' to the Bone," The New York Times, 30 October 2005
- "Mack & Mabel from Watermill to West End???", whatsonstage.com, 23 June 2005
- Coveney, Michael. "Review:Sunset Boulevard", whatsonstage.com, 16 December 2008]
- Staff. "Revel Horwood Lines up More Actor-Musician Revivals???" whatsonstage.com, 24 September 2008