Opera North this month revives its acclaimed 1998 production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. The musical thriller opens the Leeds-based company's spring season next week, running from 25 April to 4 May 2002, before continuing to 12 July a UK tour that includes a one-week engagement at London's Sadler's Wells.

In Sondheim's 1979 adapted Victoria melodrama, Sweeney Todd returns to his native London, after 15 years' wrongful incarceration, with only one thing on his mind - bloody revenge for the death of his wife. With the help of pie-shop owner Mrs Lovett and a string of close-shave customers, "the demon barber of Fleet Street" is soon developing an innovative business.

As in 1998, Opera North's Sweeney Todd is directed once again by David McVicar, with Steven Page and Beverley Klein reprising their roles as Todd and Lovett. Also in the cast are Christopher Saunders, Malcolm Rivers, Gillian Kilpatrick and newcomers Daniel Broad and Anna-Clare Monk, who play impetuous young lovers Anthony and Johanna.

Sweeney Todd is designed by Michael Vale, with costumes by Keving Knight, lighting by Paule Constable and choreography by Jonathan Butterell who also co-directs.

Following the production's opening dates at Leeds' Grand Theatre, it will continue to London, Salford, Nottingham, Newcastle and Sheffield.

- by Terri Paddock