You'll understand my trepidation travelling to Theatre Royal Stratford East for the autumn season opener. Anthony Burgess’ notorious novel of ultra-violence and brutality, A Clockwork Orange – reimagined as a musical?

Fears of numbers such as Any Droog Will Do or You’re The One That I Want (To Beat Up) were soon laid to rest – composer Fred Carl has drawn from jazz, soul and reggae to create a score that Lloyd Webber wouldn’t dare wander after dark.

The seating arranged either side of an angular, neon orange stage gave proceedings an unsettling intimacy and as Alex and his droogs enter from every direction (harrassing the ushers as they do so) the audience is given a press-the-red-button, all angles view of the violence.

Ed Durante, who has written the adaption, has refreshed Burgess’ ‘Nadsat’ speak with a new lexicon. A tricky thing to do, but he pulls it off with style – many memorable phrases, nods to the original, at the same time decipherable and universally understood.

Ashley Hunter is a real star as Alex, creating a character both repugnant and sympathetic, dealing with the typical teen issues of love, parents and friends in the sickening way he sees fit.

Vanessa Sylvester shines as his potential saviour and love-interest, serving up some incredible singing and emotional scenes, and Raphael Sowole must be mentioned for his ability to channel Biggie Smalls when he raps.

TRSE’s production is full of movement and snappy changes, meaning audience attention is never lost and the stage never seems too small. This adaption has some added angles on offer, missing from Stanley Kubrick’s film version, picking up on the ideas of redemption and willpower found in the book.

Hip, quick, hideous and hopeful – this dystopian nightmare makes for musical theatre at its freshest.

Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange is at Theatre Royal Stratford East until October 1 .