In this section, I first tell the life story of George Dibdin Pitt, the author of the 1847 melodrama The String of Pearls, or The Fiend of Fleet Street.
Perhaps the most prolific British playwright in history, George Dibdin Pitt came from a well known theatrical family, going all the way back to his great-grandmother, Ann Pitt (1720?
On June 7, 1794, George Cecil Pitt married Sophia Pyne, an actress in Preston; apparently their son George was nearly born on stage there, probably on March 30, 1795, and baptized two months later, not as George Dibdin Pitt but as George Cecil Pitt, the same name as his father (Stephens Theatre 46).
In 1826, George Dibdin Pitt, his wife, and their four children returned to London where he found work at various theatres acting, stage managing, and-beginning in 1831-play writing.
It also housed theatre people, as many of the Britannia's own acting company lived nearby (Davis and Emeljanow 74-76), including George Dibdin Pitt.
Ostensibly then Sondheim, and Bond before him, 'radicalised' the work of George Dibdin Pitt
, who created the first Sweeney Todd melodrama, although neither seem to be aware that Pitt was one of the more socially radical dramatists of his time.