Friday 7 December 2007

Sweeney Todd

Johnny Depp Sweeney ToddSWEENEY TODD

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.

In the spirit of web generosity on which http://www.victorianlondon.org/ is run, I've uploaded the entire penny dreadful here ... enjoy!

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