Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Strikes

The first episode of the four part series, produced by Blackstone Audio. This was made free via the Radio Drama Revival podcast. Technical information aside, I enjoyed this interpretation of the demon barber from fleet street.

This episode is a simple, yet ingenious mystery plot. Its simple in that we know what happened in the first scene. Sweeney Todd is one of my favorite stories so I know the story quite well. After listening to this episode I found out that Sweeney Todd used to be a serialized newspaper story. The mystery that every character but Mrs. Lovitt and Sweeney Todd don’t know is practically common knowledge.

What makes this ingenious is that you spend the majority of the story with characters who don’t know and are curious about what happened to a Mr. ______. So much time is spent that you often forget what really happened.

That, of course, is just my reaction. However, the tension and suspense alone will keep your headphones glued to your ears. It plays the sliding scale between a mystery plot and suspenseful anticipation. Most stories have a mystery plot and a anticipation plot that are separate from one another. In fact it could be argued that those are the two main plot archetypes (anticipation and mystery). This rendition of Sweeney Todd has elements of both and sits somewhere in the middle, making it a great listen for those long car rides.