A DRAMA group is ready for the opening night of its annual pantomime.

Bishop Auckland Theatre Society will present Sleeping Beauty at Bishop Auckland Town Hall from Thursday, January 9, to Saturday, January 11.

Performances of the family show will be at 7pm each night and there will be a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

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The traditional tale has been adapted for stage by writers Pat Jones and Brian Travers.

In it, an evil fairy curses Princess Peachblossom to death but thanks to her flower fairy sisters she and the entire kingdom instead go to sleep and will only wake if she is kissed by a handsome stranger. The audience will be gripped as they discover whether Prince Reliant and SNIFF (Shildon National Institute of Flower Fairies) can overcome Carabosse’s evil spell.

Emma Westwood-Fulcher, who plays the evil fairy Carabosse, said: “We have a large cast of about 20 and around ten people backstage, involved in production management, sound and lighting and each is as important as the next to put a good show on stage.

“The audience can expect all the laughs and sinister bits, jumps and twists of a professional panto.”

Tickets priced £7 are expected to be available on the door but are selling fast, particularly for the matinee, so can be booked in advance on 01388-775508.