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 is run, I've uploaded the entire penny dreadful here ... enjoy!

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