MACK the Knife will take to the stage in Barnstaple this week as North Devon College students present the modern classic, The Threepenny Opera. From tonight (Wednesday) until Friday the performing arts students will be at The Factory in Roundswell with a

MACK the Knife will take to the stage in Barnstaple this week as North Devon College students present the modern classic, The Threepenny Opera.From tonight (Wednesday) until Friday the performing arts students will be at The Factory in Roundswell with a musical tale of love, struggle and deception among the underworld denizens of 1940s London.Part of the North Devon Festival, the show is directed by Lee Baxendale and Steve Harrison, with their interpretation coming on the 80th anniversary of what is now acknowledged as a theatre masterpiece and the inspiration for Chicago and Cabaret.Originally set in Victorian London and a radical revision of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, this version sees the cast transported to the capital's 1945 VE Day celebrations.Notorious villain Mack the Knife is in trouble - after marrying the irresistible Polly Peachum, her crime boss father is determined to see him swing.A cast of thieves, crooked cops, beggars, prostitutes and even the King are enlisted as the battle for their seedy Soho neighbourhood is joined.With an inventive score, influenced by American jazz and 1920s German cabaret, this "pop opera" became one of the most influential theatre pieces of the 20th century. From the moment the opening ballad of Mack the Knife filled the theatre, The Threepenny Opera was an immediate, scandalous hit.Featuring music by acclaimed composer Kurt Weill and original lyrics by playwright Bertolt Brecht, updated by Jeremy Sams, The Threepenny Opera introduces a cunning and glorious story of love, greed, deception and capitalism run wild.Catch it at 7.30pm every night this week at Roundswell. Tickets are available from the box office on (01271) 324242.