STUDENTS at Magdalen College School in Oxford are staging their “most ambitious musical to date”, the gruesome Sweeney Todd.

Stephen Sondheim’s chilling tale follows the fortunes of a vengeful barber who teams up with the owner of a failing pie shop to revive their fortunes.

The demon barber is played by James Digby, 18. He said: “It 's a great part and a great way to end my last school year.

“It allows a lot of great acting and singing, but if all else fails you can pull it off with a mix of anger and panache. And I get to do my own make-up.”

For their production, the school has borrowed a trick chair and a grinding machine from the National Theatre in London, and will be using a variety of exciting props.

Director and head of drama Christian Anthony said: “Myself and the head of music John Cullen both adore the play, but we thought the challenge of staging it would be too great.

“But the thought ate away at us and in a moment of masochistic madness we decided we had to do it.”

The show opened last night and will run until Saturday, showing at 7.30pm each night.

Tickets are £12 for adults and £8 concessions. To book, call 01865 242191.