Sweeney Todd Question #13 - Kaye's Changes to the Pitt Play

by George Dibdin Pitt

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Sweeney Todd Question #13 - Kaye's Changes to the Pitt Play

Unread postby Liz » Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:45 am

What do you think of the changes made by Kaye to the Pitt play? Do they make sense?
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:58 am

As Mr. Betty is giving me just 6 minutes to get done and out of the motel room to hit the road, I can only say that I carefully read each change that he mentioned as I read the play and definitely thought that he was working hard to make events flow logically (quite a job from the looks of it!). Yes, they made sense (of nonsense!). Outta here!
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:26 am

Yes, he seems to have made what seems to be a strange set of scenes that seemed to quite haphazzard make sense and seem more logical. Or at least from as much as can be assertained as we only have his word for it :lol:

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Unread postby Endora » Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:29 pm

Yes, it made sense better than the version he started with. But perhaps in the old days people just apearing to come back to life was more believable.

These last two days have been tricky questions because they require more precise answers. What are you trying to do to us Liz and DITHOT? :bawl:
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Unread postby Depputante » Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:35 pm

Endora wrote:These last two days have been tricky questions because they require more precise answers. What are you trying to do to us Liz and DITHOT? :bawl:


:dance: :ugh: Me too. I'm hanging myself up with the wash today. Never read that book.
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:20 pm

Endora wrote:Yes, it made sense better than the version he started with. But perhaps in the old days people just apearing to come back to life was more believable.

These last two days have been tricky questions because they require more precise answers. What are you trying to do to us Liz and DITHOT? :bawl:


Sorry, Endora. I get rather carried away sometimes. :capnjack:

I found it interesting to read his changes. It enhanced the play a touch. And to be precise, I liked the changes he made with Jarvis and Mr. Smith--replacing Mr. Smith with Jarvis as Mark's ally.
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:25 pm

Depputante wrote:
Endora wrote:These last two days have been tricky questions because they require more precise answers. What are you trying to do to us Liz and DITHOT? :bawl:


:dance: :ugh: Me too. I'm hanging myself up with the wash today. Never read that book.


That's OK, Depputante. You get a day off. :disco: I knew there would be folks that wouldn't be able to answer this one for lack of reading the Pitt play.
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Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:41 pm

Liz wrote:
Endora wrote:Yes, it made sense better than the version he started with. But perhaps in the old days people just apearing to come back to life was more believable.

These last two days have been tricky questions because they require more precise answers. What are you trying to do to us Liz and DITHOT? :bawl:


Sorry, Endora. I get rather carried away sometimes. :capnjack:

I found it interesting to read his changes. It enhanced the play a touch. And to be precise, I liked the changes he made with Jarvis and Mr. Smith--replacing Mr. Smith with Jarvis as Mark's ally.


Agreed, made much more sense too :cool:

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Too much brain strain.

Unread postby gemini » Sat Oct 21, 2006 5:53 pm

I arrived late for today's question to find its another tuff one. You all have better memories than I have. I had to go back and refresh my memories on what the changes were. Nice of Marvin to put them in footnotes to save me some time.

In his first notes, he tells much by calling the unrevised script corrupted text. The introduction says he attempted to restore a plausible form that will not strain the audience's credibility. This seems to be his decision on whether it is on not. Lets see?

He seems to use Mark as a substitute for Parmine in the cellars, since Parmine would have been resurrected, that seems like a good decision as having a dead guy running the cellars would not be too plausible.

When he substitutes Mark for Jarvis in the conversation with Tobias he says it's likelier because Mark knows the boy and Jarvis does not. This makes sense to me so I'm with him on that one as well.

When he moves Marks ghostlike appearance to later in the play he adds that he thinks Pitt intended it to be there. So later Mark appears to save Tobias instead of Jarvis. Not bad as it also adds a little more heroism to Mark.

Later when he speaks to Mrs. Lovett already in the oven, it is revised from Todd walking upon the corpse.
I agree with Kaye, it doesn't make much since as he's already thrown her in!

In the last footnote: Jarvis enters with Tobias but Kaye has already locked him in the cellar when he used him to replace Mr. Smith in the previous scene. Here he brings Jeffery into the climax in Jarvis place.
He is making his earlier changes credible while returning Jeffery. He calls Jeffery too important to be left out in the end.

I'll also give him that one so I guess my answer is... I approve of the changes he made and I think he made them to make the story make sense.

Ooooh, I think this one gave me a headache.
Last edited by gemini on Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Too much brain strain.

Unread postby Betty Sue » Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:03 pm

gemini wrote:I arrived late for today's question to find its another tuff one. You all have better memories than I have. I had to go back and refresh my memories on what the changes were. Nice of Marvin to put them in footnotes to save me some time.


Gemini, if I had a memory I would have made the erudite comments you did! I just remembered that I checked the footnotes out as I read the play, and they seemed to make sense. Thank you for taking the time, energy and brain power to sort them all out for us! (Sorry about the headache! )
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Unread postby Bix » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:05 pm

Yes, gemini, thank you so much for your synopsis of the changes. I have been feeling guilty about not doing my homework and getting the Sondheim version, but I thought I should try to answer this one about Kaye's treatment of the Pitt play. But you did it for me - and probably better than I would have. I agree that the things he did made very good sense and improved the original.
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Re: Too much brain strain.

Unread postby gemini » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:38 pm

Betty Sue wrote:
gemini wrote:I arrived late for today's question to find its another tuff one. You all have better memories than I have. I had to go back and refresh my memories on what the changes were. Nice of Marvin to put them in footnotes to save me some time.


Gemini, if I had a memory I would have made the erudite comments you did! I just remembered that I checked the footnotes out as I read the play, and they seemed to make sense. Thank you for taking the time, energy and brain power to sort them all out for us! (Sorry about the headache! )

Thanks Betty Sue and Bix but if my comments were truly erudite I would have spelled tuff (tough) correctly.
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:46 pm

I thought 'tuff' was cute!
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Unread postby Boo-Radley » Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:49 pm

Gemini thanks for the rundown of Kaye's changes to the play, they were very helpful. :cool: While I agree that Kaye's changes helped make the play better, I still think there were scenes, were the actions seemed forced. One example the climax of the play, Mark's ghostly appearance at the trial, maybe it's just me but I found the whole circumstance ludicrous.

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Unread postby gemini » Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:06 am

Boo-Radley wrote:Gemini thanks for the rundown of Kaye's changes to the play, they were very helpful. :cool: While I agree that Kaye's changes helped make the play better, I still think there were scenes, were the actions seemed forced. One example the climax of the play, Mark's ghostly appearance at the trial, maybe it's just me but I found the whole circumstance ludicrous.

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Before the trial Sweeney was sane enough to give the pearls to Jeffrey and call the police and try to blame him. During the trail, Mark running around appearing in different places to taunt Sweeny was a little odd but seeing Mark is what sent him over the edge.

Since Sweeny thought he had killed him and was seeing a ghost he spoke to him as his dead victim in front of the judge. His last line in the court room is " Ha ha tis useless to deny my guilt; the dead rise from their cerements to prove Sweeney a murderer!

So Mark's behavior although a bit ludicrous had a purpose. He must have thought if he just showed up and said I am not dead Sweeney would not be charged with murder. It is a simple play and Sweeney was not charged with the other murders.
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