Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd is the completely badass musical by Stephen Sondheim (that Enumclaw High School is producing, so for anyone interested-)

That's not weird or creepy at all...

See that chick? That's Mrs. Potts. NOT EVEN FREAKIN' KIDDING

He never forgets and he never forgives. But he's always good-looking

Just The Facts

  1. Sondheim is a genius.
  2. This musical is awesome.
  3. All content courtesy of Wikipedia. With some added personal touches.

Act I

The company-citizens of London-assembles to perform a no-frills burial, dumping a body in a sack into a shallow grave. A little unceremonious, but when you think of standards of the day, this was actually really reverent. That dude in the sack, is so freakin' lucky, you have no idea.

Pictured: Victorian burial methods.

The company sings "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd", introducing the tale of the "Demon Barber of Fleet Street". They continue to appear throughout the show to tell us the obvious. Sweeney Todd rises from the grave as if called forth.

This had better be really important!

In 1846,[2] a young sailor named Anthony Hope rides a ship into London. Hope, who is squealing like a little girl and singing about all of the amazing things he's going to be seeing, gets the mood killed by his friend and shipmate Sweeney Todd who appears to be pissed off. This mood is worsened by a half-mad Beggar Woman who begs from both Anthony and Todd. She appears to recognize Todd, who flips her off. ("No Place Like London").

Look up impatience on Bing.

As they prepare to part, Todd tells Anthony a tragic story about a young and idiotic naive barber, his beautiful wife, and the lustful judge who exiled him to covet her ("The Barber and His Wife").

Todd goes to a meat pie shop on Fleet Street, where he encounters the shop's proprietress, Mrs. Nellie Lovett. (Mrs. Potts).

It's cup... try a little cup.

She whines complains about her competition, her own pitiful pies, and the difficult economic times ("Worst Pies in London"). When Todd asks about the upstairs apartment, she tells him the sad tale of a barber named Benjamin Barker. Barker had been falsely sentenced by the lecherous Judge Turpin and his corrupt cohort Beadle Bamford because of the Judge's lust for Barker's wife Lucy. She reveals how, once Barker had been sent to Australia to be killed by one of the millions of things that want to kill you, the Judge had lured Lucy to his house and raped her ("Poor Thing"). The guests at the party all laughed at her and Lucy was humiliated.

They'd be tried for negligience, but the Judge wouldn't proceed.

Todd, who has heard enough, admits that he is Benjamin Barker back from Australia. She tells him that his wife poisoned herself and that his infant daughter, Johanna, became a ward of the Judge. Todd swears revenge on the Judge who ruined his life. (Because, boy, did he screw it up! Mrs. Lovett is more concerned with how Todd will make a living, and shows Todd his collection of sterling silver razors, which she has kept hidden for years, telling him that he can become a barber again. Todd has a really intimate moment with his sharp blades and starts singing to them ("My Friends" and "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd: Lift Your Razor High, Sweeney!").

These are my friends

Anthony, walking through Kearny's Lane, notices a girl singing at a window admiring a bird seller's wares ("Green Finch and Linnet Bird"). The passing Beggar Woman (who again offers herself to him, with apparently no interest in compensation) tells Anthony that the girl is Johanna, Judge Turpin's ward. Anthony is immediately smitten ("Ah, Miss") and pledges to woo her, but the Judge and the Beadle threaten him off. He swears to save her from being prisoner ("Johanna"). Meanwhile, in the crowded marketplace, renowned "Italian" barber Adolfo Pirelli and his simple-minded assistant Tobias Ragg pitch a cure-all for hair loss ("Pirelli's Miracle Elixir"). Tobias, or Toby, as he is later called, sings about the benefits of the Elixir, but Todd and Lovett totally blow it by criticizing it and saying that it is made up of piss and ink.

Once again confirming spaghetti's place as the only good thing to come from Italy.

Todd, after exposing the elixir as fraudulent, challenges Pirelli to a shaving and tooth-pulling competition, and invites the Beadle to act as the judge of the competition. Pirelli puts on a grand show, but Todd wins easily ("The Contest"). Todd invites the Beadle to visit his parlor for a complimentary shave ("The Ballad of Sweeney Todd: Sweeney Pondered and Sweeney Planned").

Several days later, as Todd impatiently waits for the Beadle's arrival, Mrs. Lovett notices that he's getting pissed off and urges patience ("Wait"), when Anthony bursts into the shop. He tells Todd of his sudden romance with Johanna and requests to bring the girl to the barber shop. No sooner has he left than Pirelli and Toby visit the shop. Mrs. Lovett takes Toby downstairs for a meat pie, leaving Todd alone with Pirelli. Pirelli drops his Italian accent to reveal an Irish one and reveals his real name is Danny O'Higgins, who served as assistant to Benjamin Barker in his barber shop fifteen years ago. O'Higgins has recognized Todd and attempts to blackmail him. Todd is freaked out, and he decides to do something drastic.

Apparently an Italian accent was easier to pull off than an English one.

Rather than pay O'Higgins off, Todd attacks him and strangles him, dumping his body into an empty trunk just before Tobias enters looking for his master, saying that he has an appointment with a tailor. Todd sends Toby back down to Mrs. Lovett, tempting him with the offer of another pie and "a nice big tot of gin." Once Toby leaves to fatten himself up, Todd opens the trunk and finally finishes off his former assistant by slitting his throat. ("The Ballad of Sweeney Todd: His Hands Were Quick, His Fingers Strong) Holy crap, Sweeney! You monster!

Across town, Judge Turpin is tormented by his lust for his ward Johanna and announces to her that he intends to marry her ("Johanna"). Johanna, who now sees that the judge is a creepy pedophile plans to elope with Anthony ("Kiss Me"). At the same time, the Beadle, accompanying his master after court (during which the Judge had sentenced a juvenile offender to death for ridiculous crimes), suggests that the Judge visit Todd's barbershop to improve his appearance to better win Johanna's affections ("Ladies in Their Sensitivities"). Turpin agrees and they set off.

The only way to possibly make Timothy Spall any more badass.

Back at Todd's shop, despite her initial shock at O'Higgins' murder Mrs. Lovett, reaches into his shirt and pulls out an ugly little purse. Good to know that you care. Mrs. Lovett returns downstairs to keep Toby fat while an eager Todd bides his time and slowly proceeds to exact his revenge, lulling the Judge into a sense of security ("Pretty Women"). Todd, who looks like a psycho, tries to kill Turpin, but Anthony blows it by barging in to tell Todd about his and Johanna's plans, accidentally informing the outraged Judge. The judge walks out, and Todd screams at Anthony for ruining it AND not knocking!


Todd who has a Marylin Manson song stuck in his head, goes insane and decides that if he killed the rich, greedy and corrupt and murder the poor, then the world would be a better place. ("Epiphany"). He decides to go on a rampage.

Or maybe I should go into politics? I'll leave it to a coin toss.

Mrs. Lovett comes up with a brilliant, but totally sick idea. She suggests they use the flesh of Todd's victims in her meat pies ("A Little Priest"), an idea which Todd enthusiastically falls in love with.


Mrs. Lovett's pie shop has become a thriving business with its new menu. Toby is helping her out. Both Toby and the customers are unaware of what is in the meat pies. ("God, That's Good!").The only fly in the ointment is the Beggar Woman, who keeps hanging around the pie shop, telling anyone who will listen that Mrs. Lovett is a witch. Mrs. Lovett gets rid of her. Todd and Mrs. Lovett now have a specially-designed mechanized barber's chair that allows Todd to kill someone (preferably a customer who will never be missed) in the barber shop and send the body through a chute directly into the basement bakehouse of the pie shop for Mrs. Lovett to use in her baking. Handy. Anthony's fortunes are not so bright as Johanna has disappeared. It is at this point that we view a montage of Anthony desolately searching for Johanna, but to no avail, and Sweeney slitting throats. ("Johanna (Quartet)"). Later, Mrs. Lovett dreams of a future life with Todd, though he remains uninterested ("By The Sea").

I really don't care

Anthony discovers the Judge has hidden Johanna in Fogg's Asylum for the mentally deranged and he infiltrates the asylum, posing as a wigmaker intent on purchasing inmates' hair ("Wigmaker Sequence" and "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd: Sweeney Waited Too Long Before�"). When he inadvertantly reveals his true identity, Johanna grabs his pistol and shoots Fogg dead. They both flee to Todd's parlor and the insane inmates pour out onto the streets ("City on Fire"). Unknown to Anthony, Todd sends a letter to the judge notifying him of Anthony's intent to kidnap Johanna, hoping to lure the judge to his shop ("Letter" Quintet). Holy shi--

Meanwhile, in the pie shop, Toby begins to suspect that Todd is going to hurt Mrs. Lovett, who has become his hero, or something. He tells her how he feels about this and she tries to console him. ("Not While I'm Around"). While she's taking some money out of the purse she snatched from Pirelli's dead body, Toby recognizes Mrs. Lovett's purse. Mrs. Lovett worries that Toby will catch on to what she and Todd are doing, so she takes him to the oven in the basement and tells him how to make pies. This may seem a little random, but she brought him down there to lock him up. As she leaves, she encounters Beadle Bamford sitting at her harmonium ("Parlor Songs"). Mrs. Lovett questions him, and he says that the neighbors had sent him to investigate the black smoke coming out of the shop. Together he and Mrs. Lovett wait for Todd, who arrives and offers the Beadle the promised free shave while Mrs. Lovett plays Sweet Polly Plunkett on her harmonium to cover up the sounds of the Beadle screaming.In the basement, Toby, who is fattening himself up again with a pie, sees a bunch of crap in his pie. At first, he questions the hygiene, but when he sees the Beadle's dead body falling down, he craps his pants. Horrified, he tries to escape but realizes that he is locked in. Upstairs, Mrs. Lovett tells Todd that Toby is suspicious of what is going on. They head downstairs to kill him. Poor kid.

After Anthony leaves Johanna (who is dressed up like a dude) in Todd's barber shop to hire a coach to leave London, the Beggar Woman appears, and Johanna hides in the trunk. Todd discovers the Beggar Woman in his parlor as she desperately tries to warn him about Mrs. Lovett. As Judge Turpin arrives, Todd frantically slits the Beggar Woman's throat and sends her down the chute before Turpin can see her. When Todd assures him that Johanna is totally repentant, the Judge in lecherous expectation asks for a face massage. Once he has his victim in his chair, Todd reveals his identity to the Judge and slits his throat ("The Judge's Return"). Johanna is horrified after seeing everything that has just happened. As Todd is about to leave the parlor to find Toby, Johanna emerges from her hiding place. Todd catches her, and, thinking this intruder is a man, prepares to kill her. Johanna doesn't remember that he is her father, and she does not reveal who she truly is. Todd hears Mrs. Lovett screaming from the bakehouse below, providing a distraction for Johanna to escape. Todd races downstairs.

In the bakehouse, Mrs. Lovett kills with the dying Judge, once and for all before she realizes that Todd has killed the Beggar Woman. Todd bursts into the bakehouse and looks closely at the face of the beggar lady. HOLY SHI--IT'S HIS FREAKIN' WIFE! To say the least, Todd is PISSED at Mrs. Lovett. Mrs. Lovett explains that she didn't lie, she just didn't mention the fact that she wasn't dead, but just crazy. Then she tells him some bullcrap about her deep love for him. Todd, is actually quite happy and forgives Mrs. Lovett. At first, she thinks "WTF, wow!" And they start waltzing across the basement. But it turns out, he was just leading her on for those tender ten seconds, and he throws her right into the oven, where she burns to death. Todd sinks to the floor and starts cradling his dead wife. Toby, who appears to have come out of a Christian Bale meltdown/coma picks up a razor and creeps behind Todd. And you know what? The kid freakin' kills him. But he's caught red handed as Anthony, Johanna, and some constables burst into the bakehouse. Toby, who's a total zombie now goes over to turn the handle for the meat grinder. ("Final Sequence").

The company assembles one last time to sing "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd." Todd and Mrs. Lovett's ghosts are resurrected and they give us a tear-jerking speech of how everyone can plan revenge...no matter how ugly they are.They all leave the stage, except for Mr. Todd, who goes back to the oven one more time to see Mrs. Lovett's dead body. Aww...he's sadistic.

THE END (You may now clean the crap out of your pants)