Sweeney Todd

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Sweeney Todd is a fictional villain immortalised in the 1979 Broadway musical, "Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street" by Stephen Sondheim and later released as a motion picture starring Johnny Depp. The play is based on folklore dating back to the 19th Century and is set in London.

Sweeney Todd is a barber who cuts the throats of gentlemen whilst shaving them with a straight razor and uses a trapdoor to send the bodies downstairs to his accomplice.[1] His partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett (the "crafty butcher of Fleet Street"), owns the shop below and bakes the poor victims into meat pies.[2] Eventually, both are tried for their crimes and hanged.

It is sometimes claimed that the Sweeney Todd story is based upon fact, but no evidence of this has ever been found. It is far more likely that the play was based on "penny dreadful" horror stories sold in Victorian times.


  1. Rapkin, Mickey (1 June 2010). Theater Geek (in English). Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781439154397. Retrieved on 2 December 2014. “One side of the cube serves as Mrs. Lovett's pie shop, another is decorated as the backdrop to her living room. But climb the stairs to the top of the cube and you'll find yourself in Sweeney Todd's barbershop, complete with a working trapdoor. After the demon barber slits your throat, his chair reclines and the dead body slinks off, disappearing through the floor and down into the oven.” 
  2. Sweeney Todd - A Reference (English). All Things Style, Substance & Reviews. GNS (2014). Retrieved on 2 December 2014. “After taking what he wanted from the victim, Sweeney would then bring in a woman who ran a local pie shop to assist him in taking care of the body. His partner in crime was named Mrs. Lovett, who would help Todd by disposing of the bodies by using their flesh to create her meat pies, which she then sold to her unknowing customers.”