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Historical truth in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber

             Sweeney Todd is best known through Stephen Sondheim's 1979 musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
             Few people know that Stephen Sondheim's musical had a historical basis- there was a real Sweeney Todd, and he really was a barber who slaughted his clients and baked them, with the help of a neighbour, into pies. The legend of Sweeney Todd is enshrouded in mystery, added to by several interpretations of the legend- including "The String Of Pearls" by Thomas Peckett Prest, the 1936 horror film "The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street", the renownded Sondheim musical version, which was adapted from the Christopher Bond version of the tale, and the yet-to-be released movie "Sweeney Todd", expected to be released in cinemas next year, based on the Sondheim version.
             Chronological Periods.
             The original Sweeney Todd period- 1756 (Todd was born) to 1802 (Todd was hung for the murders he made).
             The String Of Pearls published 1846.
             1936- First (non-silent) film about Sweeney Todd made.
             1979- Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd :The Demon Of Fleet Street Opens.
             2005- Sweeney Todd planned to be released as a contemporary horror movie.
             From The Annual Register of London in 1785, the entry read: "A most remarkable murder was perpetrated in the following manner by a journeyman barber that lived near Hyde Park Corner, who had been for a long time past jealous of his wife, but could no way bring it home to her. A young gentleman by chance coming into his master's shop to be shaved and dressed, and being in much liquor, mentioned his having seen a fine girl home, from whom he had certain favors the night before, and at the same time describing her person. The barber concluding it to be his wife, in the height of his frenzy, cut the young gentleman's throat from ear to ear and absconded" (Haining 120).
             It is widely believed that Sweeney Todd was a real historical figure, living from 1756 until his execution in 1802, killing more than 160 people.

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