A new production of William Shakespeare's gruesome play Titus Andronicus left theatre fans fainting in the aisles when it debuted last week (ends04May14).

The production from director Lucy Bailey shocked audiences when it was first put on stage in 2006 due to its gore-filled and violent scenes.

It has returned to the Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London and some revellers are still struggling to stomach the play's grisly sequences, including one where a character stumbles on stage covered in blood after having her hands chopped off and her tongue removed.

Two people fainted during previews last week, while many more had to leave the venue when the action got too much.

However, a spokesperson for the play has refused to apologise, insisting the production is widely recognised as among Shakespeare's darkest works.

The representative says, "Shakespeare definitely didn't pull any punches when he was writing Titus - it is a brutally violent play and Lucy's production is a bloody, exhilarating, incense-laden feast for the senses. But no, it's not one for the squeamish."

On the production's website, potential theatregoers are warned that the play is "grotesquely violent and daringly experimental".