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For other uses, see Sweeney Todd (disambiguation).
Sweeney Todd is a fictional villain/antihero. A barber and an early example of a fictional serial killer, the character appears in various English language works starting in the mid-19th century. His weapon of choice is a straight razor, with which he cuts his victim's throats, and drinks their blood; in some versions of the story Mrs. Lovett, who is variously his lover, friend, and/or accomplice, and who is variously Marjorie, Sarah, Nellie, Shirley or Claudette, bakes the corpses of his victims into meat pies, and serves them to friends and family. He is also assisted by an unwitting servant lad named Tobias Ragg, who later aids in unmasking his crimes. In most versions of the story, Sweeney either helps or hinders (sometimes both) the love affair of a young woman, Johanna and a sailor named Mark Ingesterie or, later, Anthony Hope.
In two books, the horror and crime story writer Peter Haining argues that Sweeney Todd was a historical figure who committed his crimes around 1800. However, other researchers who have tried to verify his citations find nothing in these sources to back Haining's claims.
Todd's first appearance could have been in a British penny dreadful called The People's Periodical, in issue 7, dated November 21, 1846. The story in which he appeared was titled "The String of Pearls: A Romance," and was probably written by Thomas Prest, who created a number of other gruesome villains. He tended to base his horror stories on grains of truth, sometimes gaining inspiration from real crime reports in The Times.
According to the tale, Todd was tried at the Old Bailey and hanged at Tyburn in January 1802, in front of a large crowd. However, no record of the trial can be found in the Old Bailey sessions papers or the Newgate Calendar, nor are there any contemporary press reports either of the trial or of the hanging. As early as 1878 a contributor to Notes and Queries noted this absence of authentic non-fictional sources. Peter Haining, while arguing for historical reality, does not offer verifiable specifics.
The String of Pearls was adapted as a melodrama in 1847 by George Dibdin Pitt and opened at the Britannia Theatre in Hoxton, with the title Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and billed as 'founded on fact'. It was something of a success, and the story spread by word of mouth and took on the quality of an urban legend. Various versions of the tale were staples of the British theatre for the rest of the century.
In 1936 a film version of the Victorian melodrama was made, called Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, starring Tod Slaughter in the title role.
"Sweeney Todd, The Barber" is a song which assumes its audience knows the stage version and claims that such a character in real life was even more remarkable yet it contains most of the story portrayed in the theater and cinema. Stanley Holloway, who recorded it in 1956, attributed it to R. P. Weston, a song writer active from 1906 to 1934.
The duo known as the Two Ronnies produced a musical sketch called "Teeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Queer Street" with Ronnie Corbett in the title role. The sketch features the barber cutting throats with a razor and then pulling a lever to send his victims into the baker's shop below.
A version of Sweeney Todd's story is told in the 1970 horror film Bloodthirsty Butchers, directed by Andy Milligan.
The British playwright Christopher Bond wrote a 1973 play titled Sweeney Todd. This version of the story was the first to give Todd a motive other than pure greed: he is a wrongfully imprisoned barber named Benjamin Barker who returns under the name Sweeney Todd to London after fifteen years in Australia to find that the judge responsible for his imprisonment has raped and murdered his young wife. He swears revenge, but when his plans face obstacles, he begins to slash the throats of his customers. This new element of Sweeney Todd being motivated by vengeance was Bond's way of grafting dramatic themes from The Revenger's Tragedy onto George Dibdin Pitt's stage plot. In 1979 this version was adapted into a hit Broadway musical with songs by Stephen Sondheim, which has also been performed on television.
Portions of a version of the Sweeney Todd story by Neil Gaiman were published in the comics anthology Taboo in the 1980s and '90s. The project was never finished.
In 1998, Ben Kingsley and Joanna Lumley starred in the John Schlesinger-directed The Tale Of Sweeney Todd, a television movie commissioned by Sky for which Kingsley received a Screen Actors Guild Best Actor nomination.
A BBC television drama version with a screenplay written by Joshua St Johnston and starring Ray Winstone and Essie Davis was broadcast on BBC One on 3 January 2006.
Tim Burton has directed an adaptation of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd (see below) for the big screen. It stars Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd, Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett, Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin, Sacha Baron Cohen as Signor Adolfo Pirelli, and Laura Michelle Kelly as the Beggar Woman. It is slated for nationwide U.S. release on December 21, 2007. The nationwide UK release date is due to be 25th January 2008.
San Francisco playwright Dan Wilson took the basic concepts of Sweeney Todd and used them to create a new musical tale of sexual harassment in the service industry. "'Sweetie' Tanya: the demon barista of Valencia Street" tells the story of a woman ruined after a failed sexual assault lawsuit against her former employer sends her into hiding from her creditors. "Tanya" finds work under an assumed name in a small coffee shop in San Francisco's Mission District, where she endures constant harassment from her current boss and customers. When a young girl who works at the shop is raped by a customer, Tanya snaps and begins murdering the clientele using the very coffee that they crave. She is egged on by her hallucinations of Mr. (Lyle) Lovett, who suggests that she chop up the bodies and serve them as pie, but the coffee shop lacks the oven for it. The play premieres at the Darkroom Theatre in January 2008.
 The Musical
Main article: Sweeney Todd (musical)
Stephen Sondheim composed the Broadway musical Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, with a book by Hugh Wheeler, based on the Bond play. The character of Marjorie Lovett was renamed Nellie Lovett for this version of the story. Sondheim called it a "musical thriller" and, due to its sparse non-sung dialogue, "virtually an opera."
This modern example of grand guignol originally appeared on Broadway from March 1, 1979 to June 29, 1980 in a production directed by Harold Prince and starring Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou (George Hearn and Dorothy Loudon took over the lead roles after Cariou and Lansbury left the production). The London West End production starred Denis Quilley and Sheila Hancock. A smaller-scale 1989 revival at Circle in the Square starred Bob Gunton and Beth Fowler under the direction of Susan Schulman and ran from September 14, 1989 to February 25, 1990.
The musical was televised twice. In 1982 a full-scale production featuring the national touring cast aired from Los Angeles and won three Emmys. This version starred Lansbury and George Hearn. The second was a concert version presented on PBS in 2000, starring Hearn and Patti LuPone and directed by Lonny Price. The concert version featured a full symphonic orchestra and chorus, and utilized minimal props and staging.
In 2004 John Doyle directed a revival of the musical at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, which subsequently transferred to the West End's Trafalgar Studios and then the New Ambassadors Theatre. Without an orchestra, the actors themselves played the score. This production marked the first time in nearly ten years that Sondheim had been presented in the commercial West End. The production transferred to Broadway in 2005, with a cast headed by Tony Award winners Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris. It closed at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on September 3, 2006 after 349 performances after winning the 2006 Tony Awards for "Best Direction of a Musical" and "Best Orchestrations" (its loss of the award for "Best Revival of a Musical" to The Pajama Game was considered a major upset). In March 2007, a new production opened in Dublin's Gate theatre. In July 2007 it was performed in Royal Festival Hall in London (4 shows). In November 2007 the Stock Exchange Dramatic & Operatic Society (SEDOS) performed a sell-out run of 11 shows at the Bridewell Theatre just off Fleet Street, London.
In Miss Congeniality Sandra Bullock's character makes a reference to Sweeney Todd while she is getting her hair done.
1. ^ Haining, Peter (1979). The Mystery and Horrible Murders of Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. F. Muller. ISBN 0-584-10425-1.
2. ^ a b Haining, Peter (1993). Sweeney Todd: The real story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Boxtree. ISBN 1-85283-442-0.
3. ^ BBC Press Office (2005-08-12). Man or myth? The making of Sweeney Todd. Press release. Retrieved on 2006-11-15.
4. ^ Duff, Oliver. "Sweeney Todd: fact or fiction?", The Independent (London), 2006-01-03. Retrieved on 2006-11-15. (Full text)
5. ^ True or False?. Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Concert. KQED (2001). Retrieved on 2006-11-15.
6. ^ "Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street" PBS.org. URL accessed February 11, 2006.
7. ^ S.P. (1878-09-21). "An Old Cockney Tradition". Notes and Queries s5-X (247): 227. Oxford Journals. doi:10.1093/nq/s5-X.247.227-a. ISSN: 0029-3970.
De film komt hier 24 Januari 2008 in de bioscoop. De nieuwste film van Tim Burton! Ik neem aan dat ik als bescheiden Burton fan niet de enige fan van hem hier ben. Dus ik denk open maar een topic hierover. Wat van Wiki te lezen is hierboven is gaat het over een serie moordenaar met scharen . Het gebruikelijke duo in een Burton film is weer van de partij Helena Bonham Carter en Johnny Depp. Verder een grote rol voor Alan Rickman en Sacha Baron Cohen. Ik kan helaas geen trailer vinden op quicktime.
Ik wil verder alleen nog zeggen ik ben er onwijs benieuwd naar vooral naar de bijrollen van Alan Rickman en Sacha Baron Cohen. Ik heb Edwards Sisscorhands niet gezien. Maar deze wil ik absoluut wel zien Edward Sisscorhands ook wel maar is er nooit van gekomen. Heb genoten van Vincent en Big Fish.