Act 1, Part 3
No sooner has Anthony left than Pirelli and Tobias visit the shop; Mrs. Lovett distracts Toby downstairs, leaving Todd alone with Pirelli, who drops his Italian accent to reveal an Irish one. Pirelli declares his true identity as Danny O'Higgins and recounts having served as an assistant to Todd fifteen years ago. O'Higgins now attempts to blackmail his former employer; however, Todd suddenly strangles O'Higgins and dumps his body into an empty trunk. Once Toby—seeking his master—has again entered and exited, Todd opens the trunk and finishes off O'Higgins by slitting his throat ("The Ballad of Sweeney Todd: His Hands Were Quick, His Fingers Strong").
Across town, Judge Turpin is tormented by his lust for Johanna, finally announcing his intention to marry her ("Johanna–Mea Culpa"). Disgusted by the prospect, Johanna and Anthony plan to elope ("Kiss Me"). At the same time, the Beadle recommends Todd's services to the Judge, in order to improve his appearance for better winning Johanna's affections ("Ladies in Their Sensitivities"). Mrs. Lovett continues to distract Toby until the Judge enters Todd's shop. Although caught off guard and eager for blood, Todd prepares to exact his revenge by first carefully calming the Judge ("Pretty Women"). Before Todd strikes, however, Anthony barges in to tell Todd about he and Johanna's plans, accidentally informing the enraged Judge, who storms out, vowing never to return. Todd, having lost his opportunity for vengeance, drives Anthony away before descending into furious madness and broadening his anger's target to all of humanity: by punishing the rich and corrupt, and relieving the poor of their misery, through death ("Epiphany").
Mrs. Lovett, however, is more practical while discussing how to dispose of O'Higgins' body and has a sudden burst of inspiration, suggesting through wordplay that they use the flesh of Todd's victims in her meat pies, an idea which Todd enthusiastically adopts ("A Little Priest").