Sweeney Todd

25 Mar 2009 -- 28 Mar 2009

Sweeney Todd is a character who first appeared as the main antagonist of a penny dreadful serial titled The String of Pearls (1846-1847). Claims that Sweeney Todd was a historical person are strongly disputed by scholars, although there are possible legendary prototypes, arguably making the story of Sweeney Todd an early example of an urban legend.

In the original version of the tale he is a barber who murders wealthy customers by slitting their throats, then pulling a lever while they are in his barber's chair which, unknown to them, is fixed to a revolving trap-door, making them fall backward into the basement. But in many adaptations of the tale, the murdering process is reversed, meaning that he pulls a lever causing them to drop into the basement and then slits their throats. After Todd has robbed his dead victims of their goods, Mrs. Lovett, his partner in crime (in some later versions, his friend who wants to become his lover), assists him in disposing of the bodies by having their flesh baked into meat pies, and selling them to the unsuspecting customers of her pie shop. Todd's barber shop is situated at 186 Fleet Street, London, next to St. Dunstan's church, and is connected to Mrs. Lovett's pie shop in nearby Bell Yard by means of an underground passage