Search for plays
Choose from more than 450 plays!
Big Dog Publishing is your ticket to comedy and drama. We offer award-winning, family-friendly plays and excellent customer service.

Play Finder


Big Dog Publishing, LLC
P.O. Box 1401
Rapid City, SD 57709
FAX: 605-791-0186

Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls

About the Story

Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls

The razor-wielding, murderous barber, Sweeney Todd, first appeared as a character in The String of Pearls: A Romance, which was published as a penny dreadful and appeared in 18 weekly parts in The People’s Periodical and Family Library from 1846-47. Penny dreadfuls were printed in England beginning in the 1830s and featured sensational storylines that unfolded over a series of weeks. The penny dreadfuls were illustrated and were usually eight pages long. Printed on cheap pulp paper, they cost just one penny and were sold at newsstands and dry goods stores.

Since its publication, the story of Sweeney Todd has spurred numerous stage and film adaptations. The story was first adapted for the stage by George Dibdin Pitt as The String of Pearls: The Fiend of Fleet Street and debuted on March 1, 1847. British playwright Christopher Bond’s 1973 adaptation, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, was later adapted into the 1979 musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler.