For 45 years, the macabre musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has wowed theatre audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Being such a mainstay of theatre circuits, it was always likely to be a tall task for city-based Threshold Theatre Company to pull off.

This task for any cast was made all the more challenging in 2007, when Tim Burton adapted the play for the screen and cast Johnny Depp as the eponymous lead - whose memorable performance is among the actor's strongest in his eclectic career. 

However, players from Threshold - which itself has been putting on shows for almost 30 years - were more than up to this challenge.

Eastern Daily Press:

The play centres around the mysterious Sweeney Todd, an expert barber who returns from exile to London with revenge on his mind.

Here he meets and befriends the hapless Mrs Lovett, a widow pie shop owner whose pastries are, by her own admission, the worst in London.

These two main parts are played by Lewis Aves and Rebecca Jilling, who between them have every bit of the same chemistry as Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter did in the film.

Aves takes to the lead role with sheer intensity and in a captivating fashion, while Jillings is charming, compelling and full of beans as Mrs Lovett.

Eastern Daily Press:

Intertwined in the murderous revenge plot is the love story between sailor Anthony and Todd's estranged daughter Johanna, with the latter portrayed by Eloise Cubbin, whose nightingale-style vocals are a standout feature.

While the Playhouse does not provide the hugest of spaces, the set design makes use of every inch of it and the famous barber's chair trap-door stunt for which the play is known for is executed perfectly.

As is surely expected in a tale known for almost all of its characters meeting bloody ends, some scenes are inevitably graphic - so while the performance is captivating and intense, it is perhaps not for the faint of heart.

Sweeney Todd is on at the Playhouse until May 18 and is sold out.