Sondheim grants permission for film to use Sweeney Todd

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 13 2001 12:00 AM ET

Out composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim has granted permission for an upcoming British film to use his musical Sweeney Todd, reports BBC News. The film, Sweeney, will follow an opera company's performance of the play in a maximum security prison. Funded by BBC Two, the film will be directed by documentary filmmaker Francesca Joseph. The film's producer, Ruth Caleb, said, "Francesca Joseph has devised a film of real ambition. Not only is it about the redemptive qualities of music, it also provides a way of looking at people on the edge of society with compassion." Sweeney will mark the first time that Sondheim has given permission for the work to be performed outside a theater.