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Sweeney Todd Character Study

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by

Andrew Rayo

on 22 May 2013

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Transcript of Sweeney Todd Character Study

Character Designing "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" Objective: As the evil antagonist, Turpin is corrupted in his mannerisms toward women. The judge looks to marry Todd's daughter, Johanna. Judge Turpin Objective: To find a place of belonging. Once he is loved by Mrs. Lovett, he then aspires to protect her from the demon he suspects Sweeney Todd to be. Tobias (Toby) Sweeney Todd
Mrs. Lovett
Judge Turpin
Tobias Ragg The Major Characters Anyone for a shave? The End Objective: As the main character introduced initially to the audience as a changed man, Todd seeks revenge on the villainous Judge Turpin. Sweeney Todd Objective: Running a meat pie business to stay alive, Mrs. Lovett was and still is infatuated with Sweeney Todd once she reecncounters him in her shop. She will go to any extreme just to have Todd's satisfaction with her.

Mrs. Lovett Obstacle: Once an orphan in the workhouse, Toby must work as a servant for Pirelli until he works in Mrs. Lovett's meat pie shop. The only person standing in the way of his happiness is the dark and ever so menacing Mr. Todd. Toby's Key Beat Character research for Toby will include a look at the life he may have lived as an orphan in a workhouse and being abused by an adult for years until he has met a mother figure. To be accurately portrayed, Toby needs to be strong-willed with an equally strong heart. Prefereably, Toby should be played by someone who can portray a young boy or who has a high singing voice. Obstacle: Having failed to court Todd's wife Lucy after sending Todd away, the Judge tries to woo his ward, Johanna, but finds great difficulty in winning her affections since she is in love with Antony. Judge Turpin's Key Beat Character research for Turpin will include a look at his obsession with women and need to be loved. However, he is not to be felt bad for, but rather hated by the audience. The more diabolical he seems in his intentions to ruin Todd's life, the better he is as the villain. To be accurately portrayed, Turpin needs to be serious, a bit mentally unstable, attempting to be suave but very lost in his own thoughts. He also must not lack remorse for his actions, specifically for his past crimes and current corruption against his position as judge. Prefereably, Turpin should be played by a middle-aged man who is a bass. Obstacle: In addition to poor sales for her meat pies, the love of her life, Mr. Todd, is so set on killing Judge Turpin and avenging his wife (who Mrs. Lovett hides the truth about) that he hardly pays any attention to her. She wants to live life by the sea with Todd and yet she just can't make him see how she truly feels about him. Mrs. Lovett's Key Beat Character research for Mrs. Lovett will include research on the status of women in London in the 1800s. Since she lives on her own, she must be independent enough to keep a business and a bit hard-headed to have things done her way. Although she does not have children of her own, it is vital to the connection between her character and Toby's that she appear to have some motherly affection to her hard lifestyle. To be accurately portrayed, Mrs. Lovett needs to be a bit crazy, a bit obsessed, yet generally charismatic and gentle. Prefereably, Mrs. Lovett should be played by a middle-woman man who is an alto. Obstacle: After escaping from a prison he was falsely sentenced to live his life in, Todd is told his wife was raped and killed and his daughter is in the clutches of the insidious judge. He must find a way to unleash his wrath on the judge for revenge without having his former identity as Benjamin Barker be known. Todd's Key Beat Character research for Sweeney Todd will include method acting to truly portray Todd's dark, menacing and despairing past and current life. Having but one friend of his own, Antony, Todd should feel no shame or regret for any life he takes at the hands of his blade, with the exception of women and children. Although he recognizes his daughter is in the hands of the jusge, his primary focus should be on killing the judge than on rescuing Johanna. Toby should have reason to suspect Todd of suspicious activity in his barber shop and likewise Todd should be as distant and uncaring of Toby as imminently possible. Skill with a blade is certainly a good quality to have. To be accurately portrayed, Todd needs to seem as angry, serious, and distant from the London he lives in as possible. He must show no interest in Mrs. Lovett but much sadness and despair when he remembers his wife Lucy and his daughter Johanna. Prefereably, the demon barber should be played by a man who is a baritone. By Andrew Rayo
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