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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
by Zachary Klyle (lucafont90@yahoo.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Drama   User Review: ***
An adaption of the Christopher Bond play. Sweeney Todd returns to London after being imprisoned at Botony Bay only to find that his wife is dead and his daughter has been taken in as a ward by an evil judge. Todd strikes up a deal with the baker Mrs. Lovett. Todd slits the throats of his victims while Mrs. Lovett puts the meat from the bodies into her famous meat pies and sells them for profit.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author. The character and plot from this play are based faithfully on A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS: THE BAD BEGINNING: BY LEMONY SNICKET


CLOSE UP: The back of a Beadle walking up and down a London
street. His footsteps make a steady beat. When he reaches
the end of the street he turns on his heel and walks down a
narrow alley.

CLOSE UP: A boat arriving at a London dock. We can see the
outline of two men. After a moment we can see them clearly.
SWEENEY TODD. ANTHONY is a boat captain. The scene closes
out. When the boat arrives at the dock ANTHONY HOPE jumps
out and ties the boat up. After this SWEENEY TODD exits the
boat. A BEGGAR WOMEN is seen by a lampoll, lying down.
                       ANTHONY HOPE (To SWEENEY TODD)
I have sail around the world and
have seen its greatest treasures!
I have beheld its most beautiful
cities, seen the seven wonders of
the world! Bet yet, there's no
place like London!
                       SWEENEY TODD
There is none.
                       ANTHONY HOPE (To SWEENEY TODD)
Mr. Todd, what is the matter, my
                       SWEENEY TODD
You are young, Anthony, and life
has been kind to you. Fortune
smiles on you, young man, and let
it be always like that. I find my
self back in London, and my heart
beats quicker. I cannot tell why
but, Anthony, you are right, there
is no place like London.
CLOSE UP: Two drunks walk by singing and laughing. SWEENEY
TODD and ANTHONY HOPE ignore them and walk toward the
lampost. They are unaware of the BEGGAR WOMEN, who is under
it. When they finally reach the lampost the BEGGAR WOMEN
jumps out at them.


                       A BEGGAR WOMEN (Cackling)
      (She holds out an
       old bowl.)
Alms! Alms! Please, sir, help a
pitiful women!
                       ANTHONY HOPE
      (Throwing a coin
       at her.)
Here, take it, and leave.
                       A BEGGAR WOMEN
Thank yer, sir! Thank yer! And God
bless you!
Alms...alms...for a desperate
                       SWEENEY TODD
Off, devil women. Off with you I
say! Off! Leave us be, women!
                       A BEGGAR WOMEN
Please, sir, have mercy on a poor
soul...Don't I know you, mister?
Your face seems familar.
                       SWEENEY TODD (Yelling)
I said be off, you old hag!
CLOSE UP: SWEENEY TODD'S hand goes as if to strike her.

CLOSE OUT: ANTHONY HOPE restrains him by taking a hold of
his hand. The BEGGAR WOMEN runs off.
                       ANTHONY HOPE
Mr. Todd, I have honored my
promise to never in my life
question you. I have honored my
promise to you, but my curiosity
overwhelms me. Mr. Todd, why do
you hide your face from strangers?
Why does a crazed beggar women
frighten you so much, sir?
                       SWEENEY TODD
I didn't think anyone would
recognize me after all these
                       ANTHONY HOPE
She did not recognize you, my
friend. She's just a crazed beggar


                       ANTHONY HOPE (cont'd)
women. London is filled with them.
But why should you fear a women of
that sort?
                       SWEENEY TODD
I owe my whole life to you. If it
not for you or your wonderul ship,
I would be long past dead. I am
certain now that I owe you the
truth, Anthony. I, too, have
sailed around this world and seen
it's wonders. When you found me on
that makeshift raft you found a
man with no hope in his heart. For
I was an escaped convict.
                       ANTHONY HOPE
What was your crime, Mr. Todd.
                       SWEENEY TODD
My wife was so beautiful, Anthony.
                       ANTHONY HOPE
That's not a crime, I don't...
                       SWEENEY TODD
There were two men, one a beadle
and one a judge, who covetted my
wife. They tried everthing to win
wife for their desires. I was
falsly accused of robbery and was
arrested by the beadle. I was
brought before that same judge and
sentanced to life. He most likely
hoped that in my absence my good
wife would fall.
                       ANTHONY HOPE
Did she fall, Mr Todd?
                       MRS. LOVETT
No! I don't know! That is what I
want to find out. On Fleet Street
I had a barber shop, as I told you
on the voyage to London, and below
lived a baker, Mrs. Lovett. I am
hoping see knows of what happened
to my wife. Now here is were we go
are seperate ways, Anthony. I
don't want you to see me weep if I
find out about my wife, whether
for sorrow or joy!


                       ANTHONY HOPE
Good-bye, Mr. Todd!
The camera closes out as SWEENEY TODD starts to walk off
when ANTHONY HOPE calls to him. The camera focuses on
                       ANTHONY HOPE
Mr. Todd, shall we meet again at
St. Dustan's Market-Place at
                       SWEENEY TODD
I will be there, Anthony, and let
the good Lord smile on you.
Farwell, my young friend.
ANTHONY HOPE walks down the street.
                       SWEENEY TODD
And now to find out the truth!
CLOSE OUT: SWEENEY TODD slings a bag over his shoulder and
walks toward Fleet Street.
CLOSE UP: SWEENEY TODD's lower body. His feet are walking at
a steady pace as he walks down Fleet Street. The camera
closes out.

SWEENEY TODD walks up Fleet Street until he reaches a shop.

PIES!" The camera closes out to a full shot of SWEENEY TODD
and the pie shop. He hesitates then enters.

The room is in need of some repair. Dust covers everything.
SWEENEY TODD looks around and calls out:
                       SWEENEY TODD (Calling)
Hello? Is anyone in here? Hello?
Some food, here!
MRS. LOVETT enters through a door, behind a cutting table.
Her back is to the camera.
                       SWEENEY TODD
I said some food, here, Mame!
MRS. LOVETT turns around with a meat cleaver in her hand.
She looks him over for a moment and then screams:


                       MRS. LOVETT
A customer! You must be a ghost!
SWEENEY TODD starts for the door of the shop, in alarm,
fearing that MRS. LOVETT has recognized his reall identity.
                       MRS. LOVETT
Wait! Don't go running away! I
just thought you were ghost 'cus
there hasn't been a customer here
for a fortnight. You'd think this
shop would have the plague, the
way that people avoid it so. You
wanted a pie, sir?
                       SWEENEY TODD
Yes, a pie.
                       MRS. LOVETT
Now, sit down for a while.
FULL SHOT: SWEENEY TODD sits on a small stool, that is
sitting by the cutting table. MRS. LOVETT gets a pie a hands
it to TODD.
                       MRS. LOVETT
And some ale to go along with the
pie, sir?
SWEENEY TODD nods. MRS. LOVETT pours a tankard of ale and
hands it to TODD.
                       MRS. LOVETT
I don't blame the people who avoid
my shop. These are probably the
foulest pies in all of London. I
should know, I bake 'em. But you
shouldn't wonder you know! With
the price of meat what it is and
all. I never thought I'd see grown
men hover over a dead dog with
watering lips. Just the other day
I was walking by Cheapside and saw
a crowd of people near a shop
window. I edged close to the
window and I got a big surprise.
In it was a roasted cat with
garnish all 'round it's body.
There is a long pause.


                       SWEENEY TODD
Doesn't the people who live above
you pay rent?
                       MRS. LOVETT
Up there? Oh, no one lives up
there, anymore. It's been empty
for years. Years ago a barber and
his family lived up there. Oh, he
was a lovely man. He was a real
man. But he was transported to
some foreign country. Mind you,
sir, he deserved what he got.
                       SWEENEY TODD
Deserved? What was his crime?
                       MRS. LOVETT
Foolishness! Nothing but
foolishness. His wife didn't the
situation one bit. Foolish
creature she was. You see, two
gentlemen took a great fancy to
'er. But she wouldn't allow it.
Oh, no, not at all! And the
husband encouraged these fancies
notions! To bad he was shipped
off. Beautiful man, 'e was!
                       SWEENEY TODD
Where there no children?
                       MRS. LOVETT
Yes, there was a child. Both cried
themselves giddy when the husband
was shipped off!
Mrs. Lovett's narrative is acted out.
                       MRS. LOVETT VOICEOVER
You see, one day Beadle shows up
to call on her! 'e then says that
the judge has repented against and
wants to get her husband back. And
she actually believed it! He then
tells her that the judge has taken
to his bed and would she come to
the Inn of Courts that night to
see what she can do for him. Well,
Beadle brings her to the Inns and
there they are having a masked


                       MRS. LOVETT VOICEOVER (cont'd)
ball. She looks around for the
judge. He is no were to be found.
But she found him soon enough. But
the judge wasn't repenting! Yah!
Not repenting! The judge pushes
to her to the floor you see and
beadle holds her down. The judge
mounts her and...
TODD interupts.
                       SWEENEY TODD
Will no one mercy on her soul?!
                       MRS. LOVETT
So you are that poor barber! The
one who was shipped off to that
                       ANTHONY HOPE
Yes, I am him! But that doesn'
matter anymore!
                       MRS. LOVETT
You have changed! You look like
you have shooken the devil's own
hand and have come back to tell
about it!
                       SWEENEY TODD
Where's my wife? Where's my
precious lucy?
                       MRS. LOVETT
Oh, sir...
                       SWEENEY TODD
Where is she?
                       MRS. LOVETT
Well...after she came back from
the Judge's home she baught
posion. She woke Johanna up in the
middle of the night and gave the
poor babe some and took the rest
CLOSE UP: SWEENEY TODD falls to the ground.


                       ANTHONY HOPE
Now don't distress yourself! You
can't bring 'er back.
      (She leans down
       next to him.)
There, there, you haven't changed
much, have you? You are still as
soft a butter at room tempature!
CLOSE OUT: SWEENEY TODD stands up and leans on the cutting
table while MRS. LOVETT walks behind him.
                       SWEENEY TODD
But I have changed. That husband,
as soft as butter, died that same
night. But in his place shall
rise a stronger man. He will put
fright into this God forsaken
city! I vow that! I shall not rest
until my wife and daughter are
                       MRS. LOVETT
You didn't let me finish! Your
wife was the only one who died!
                       SWEENEY TODD
My daughter lives?
                       MRS. LOVETT
Yes, that night your wife gave her
poison I stayed up for three
nights attending to her! That I
did! Pretty as a picture she is!
                       SWEENEY TODD
Where is she? Is she here?
                       MRS. LOVETT
You can't see her, i'm sorry to
                       SWEENEY TODD (Yells)
Where is she?!
                       MRS. LOVETT
Judge Turpin has her! Adopted her
as his ward!
                       MRS. LOVETT
He is pay! I will have my revenge!


                       MRS. LOVETT
But how can yer? He's a judge and
the other is a beadle! You're just
a poor escaped convict who is
running from the law!
                       SWEENEY TODD
Some way and any way I will have
their blood! If only I had my
                       MRS. LOVETT
Oh, Mr...
                       SWEENEY TODD
Todd, Sweeney Todd!
                       MRS. LOVETT
Here's a bit of comfort for you!
She leaves the room for a moment and returns with a case.
                       MRS. LOVETT
See! I saved yer razors when I was
cleaning up yer barber shop. Times
being what they are I could have
gotten at least a hundred pounds
for 'em. Being in my position I
was tempted to sell 'em but I
CLOSE UP: MRS. LOVETT opens the case to reveal shiny razors.

CLOSE OUT: SWEENEY TODD takes one of them in his hand and
plays with it for a moment.
                       MRS. LOVETT
Those handles are chased silver,
aint they?
                       SWEENEY TODD
They certainly are.
                       MRS. LOVETT
Oh, see how they shine in the
                       SWEENEY TODD
My right arm is complete, again!
From this razor shall drip
precious rubies!


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From Rin Date 4/23/2008 ****
why is there only 9 pages D:? if there isnt, how do i turn the page?

From Luke Date 9/6/2006 0 stars
didn't get very far before I realized alot of the dialogue is ripped from Sondheim's Lyrics - you might want to reconsider that.

From Rex Macaroe Date 8/24/2005 ***
I love the style and think it could really work as a stage play. At times it does drone on and the plot is somewhat weak, but these principal complaints are to the source material for which you bear no responsibility. The one thing I would point out has to do with the dialog sounding more addressed to the audience than the characters. Otherwise, this is a good play.

From Moratzo007 Date 8/23/2005 ***
I'm a big fan of the books and I like the idea of a play based off of the them. I could see this happening. Good idea!

From KAR Catacomb Date 8/23/2005 ****

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