Parties: Who ate all the pies?

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The Independent Online

The glitterati who winced at the blood and gore during last week's premiere of Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd were soon in better spirits as they were swiftly transported to the after-party, staged at central London's suitably gothic Royal Courts of Justice, which had been transformed into a demonic barber's lair-cum-olde pie shop.

While Johnny Depp, the barber himself, glided past the hordes of salivating fans and headed quickly for the VIP area, a tuxedo-clad Alan Rickman made a far slower ascent up the nave-like central path, surrounded by his air-kissing entourage of thesps. In his wake came the glittering Jayne Wisener, a relative newcomer who plays Depp's estranged daughter in the film, sashaying in, while bravely ignoring a wardrobe malfunction to her strapless silver frock.

The presence of Christopher Biggins and Ruby Wax was all but eclipsed by more contemporary talent, including Theatreland's premier belle, Laura Michelle Kelly, twirling around in a sensational satin black-and-white number, and cool-cat music producer Mark Ronson, who mingled with guests eating retro-chic food such as fish pies, and drinking blood-red fruit juices.

The party-goers divided themselves between the disco room upstairs, the main drag below and the court's immense gallery, where they could spy on fellow guests and view the sinister images projected on to giant screens erected by Warner Brothers. Elsewhere, amusements included shoving ha'pennies into quaint Victorian slot machines featuring stripy-topped burglar automatons.

As the night wore on, the music levels were raised a notch as guests weaved between large cracked barber-shop mirrors and Victorian lampposts to dance into the early hours. The demon barber sure knows how to throw a good party.