Scene Excerpt

The Story

An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to nineteenth century London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett's luck sharply shifts when Todd's thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up... and the carnage has only just begun!

The Play

In this pivotal scene, Mrs. Lovett runs into the man formerly known as Benjamin Barker, who has taken the name Sweeney Todd.

Mrs L: So it is you – Benjamin Barker.

Todd: Not Barker! Not Barker! Todd now! Sweeney Todd! Where is she?

Mrs L: So changed! Good God, what did they do to you down there in bloody Australia or wherever?

Todd: Where’s my wife? Where’s Lucy?

Mrs L: She poisoned herself. Arsenic from the apothecary on the corner. I tried to stop her but she wouldn’t listen to me. 

Todd: And my daughter?

Mrs L: Johanna? He’s got her. 

Todd: He? Judge Turpin?

Mrs L: Even he had a conscience tucked away, I suppose. Adopted her like his own. You could say it was good luck for her... almost.

Todd: Fifteen years sweating in a living hell on a trumped-up charge. Fifteen years of dreaming that, perhaps, I might come home to a loving wife and child... Let them quake in their boots – Judge Turpin and the Beadle, for their hour has come.

Mrs L: You’re going to – get ‘em? You? A bleeding little nobody of a runaway convict? Don’t make me laugh. You’ll never get His High and Mighty-ness! Nor the Beadle neither. Not in a million years... You got any money?... Listen to me! You got any money?

Todd: No money!

Mrs L: Then how’re you going to live even?

Todd: I’ll live. If I have to sweat in the sewers or the plague hospital, I’ll live – and I’ll have them.