I've recently seen a preview of Tim Burton's new version of Sweeney Todd, the Sondheim musical. Great performances all round ... not as over-the-top as I feared.
Anyway, the reason for an invitation to the preview (apart all my showbiz connections, of course - as if!) is that I'm writing a piece on the historicity of Todd (once assumed to have been based on a real event, now widely believed to be entirely fictional).
The story has had many manifestations, but it seems without doubt that the first version is the 1846/47 penny dreadful entitled 'The String of Pearls', in which the murderous barber is the chief villian.