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|Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
For generations, scholars and historians have debated the existence of the Demon Barber. Sweeney Todd's first known appearance in print was in an 1846 “penny dreadful,” a type of horror tale of the era published in serial form, The People's Periodical. The razor-wielding barber who turned his victims into meat pies was a secondary character in the short story The String of Pearls: A Romance, written by Thomas Prest. With its bloody killing spree, ghoulish villain and macabre recipe for disposing the evidence, “The String of Pearls” was perfect fodder for the Victorian imagination.
George Dibdin Pitt, a hack playwright of the time who commonly purloined other people's ideas, immediately dramatized Prest's story for the stage. Retitling it The String of Pearls: The Fiend of Fleet Street, Pitt advertised his production one year later as “Founded on Fact.” The play, set in the reign of George II (the late 18th century), debuted on March 1, 1847, at the Hoxton Theatre, a London “bloodbath” - a theater specializing in sensational melodramas. Ever since, speculation has raged about whether the Demon Barber was man or myth.
In 1936 a British drama horror film is produced and directed by George King.
Few decades later, Tim Burton first saw Stephen Sondheim's 1979 stage musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, as a CalArts student in London in 1980.
Tim Burton approached Sondheim with a view to making a cinematic adaptation.Turning a three-hour stage musical into a two-hour film required some changes. Some songs were shortened, while others were completely removed.
Filming began on February 5, 2007 at Pinewood Studios London. Production designer Dante Ferretti created a darker, more sinister London by adapting Fleet Street and its surrounding area. Burton initially planned to use minimal sets and film in front of a green screen, but decided against it, stating that physical sets helped actors get into a musical frame of mind.
The film won the oscar award for the Best Achievement in Art Direction.
Although Sondheim was cautious of a cinematic adaptation of his musical, he was largely impressed by the results. The film received critical acclaim.
Side and props that can be removed to make it easier to set up scenes or to close the set.
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