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Beggar Woman: comic or tragic? 
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Post Beggar Woman: comic or tragic?
I've been doing tech for my college's production of Sweeney Todd, and I wanted to bring up a pretty regular occurence since the show opened. The first two appearances of Beggar Woman (during No Place Like London and Ah, Miss) have been met with heavy laughter by the audience pretty much every performance. I may be misunderstanding the character by saying that she's one of the most tragic characters in the show, but I just find it inappropriate that the audience sees her as being so hilarious. Thoughts?

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Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:05 am
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Post Re: Beggar Woman: comic or tragic?
I think that she is both, and that it's what the audience perceives as comedy earlier on that emphasises the tragedy at the end. I think too that her very quick changes from 'beggar' to 'vile prostitute' within herself can be funny to an audience, especially if they are not familiar with the show.


Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:23 am
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Post Re: Beggar Woman: comic or tragic?
Apples2for10 wrote:
I may be misunderstanding the character by saying that she's one of the most tragic characters in the show, but I just find it inappropriate that the audience sees her as being so hilarious. Thoughts?


Well, the entire point is that the audience shall be tricked to believe the beggar woman is only a comic relief until her true identity is reveiled, in the final scene.

Reveiling her identity from the start is like reveiling the identity of the murder in a detective novel (except here the roles are the opposite, of course.)

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Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:42 am
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Post Re: Beggar Woman: comic or tragic?
Hans wrote:
Apples2for10 wrote:
I may be misunderstanding the character by saying that she's one of the most tragic characters in the show, but I just find it inappropriate that the audience sees her as being so hilarious. Thoughts?


Well, the entire point is that the audience shall be tricked to believe the beggar woman is only a comic relief until her true identity is reveiled, in the final scene.

Reveiling her identity from the start is like reveiling the identity of the murder in a detective novel (except here the roles are the opposite, of course.)

I totally agree. The audience isn't supposed to suspect anything of the beggar woman when it comes to the storyline and that's what makes the musical shocking and gives Sweeney the gumption and nerve to kill Mrs. Lovett for "lieing" to him.

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Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:23 pm
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