Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson sealed her place as a star of the New York stage by making her debut in a concert version of Sweeney Todd on Wednesday night.

The British actress plays notorious pie-maker Mrs Lovett in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra's version of Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, which opened at Avery Fisher Hall in Manhattan on Wednesday.

Thompson appears opposite Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel in the title role, and she has won over the critics with her performance.

The New York Daily News' theatre reviewer Joe Dziemianowicz insists Thompson "stole the show" and praises her "robust singing voice" and "plenty of comic chops".

Roger Friedman of Showbiz411.com also hails Thompson's star turn, writing, "I'd have paid double last night and would pay it again to see Emma Thompson... Thompson lets loose as crazy, happy, lovelorn pie baking Mrs Lovett. If only Thompson would come to Broadway in this! She wouldn't need to campaign to get a Tony Award".

The show's opening night also featured an uncredited surprise appearance from actresssinger Audra McDonald, and garnered a star-studded audience, with attendees including Meryl Streep, Neil Patrick Harris and Sweeney Todd's composer Stephen Sondheim, who was brought up onto the stage to take a bow during the curtain call.

The production runs until Saturday and will be broadcast on America's PBS network at a later date.