A THEATRICAL family will tread the boards together in £75,000 performance of a hit Broadway musical.

Husband and wife Chris and Lynn Richardson will play the lead roles of Annie and Frank Butler in West End Operatic Society's production of Annie Get Your Gun, at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle, from Monday, April 7, to Sunday, April 12.

The Sacriston couple will be joined on stage by their son Kyle, who is also part of the production.

Mrs Richardson works full-time on the social club circuit and is training to be a driving instructor.

Her husband, a multi-award winning cabaret entertainer, is in his final year of a drama degree at Northumbria University.

Other key members of the production are director Lesley Franks and choreographer Val Shield, both from Newton Hall, Durham, and Buffalo Bill will be played by Michael Green from Chester-le-Street.

Staff at Scene Setters, based in Tanfield Lea industrial estate, near Stanley, were commissioned to produce the striking backdrops and 15 of the cast got into character and donned their costumes for a trip out to see the work in progress.

They also stopped at the South Causey Hotel and Equestrian Centre in nearby Beamish Burn Road, Stanley.

Hotel owner Jean Gibson allowed the society to use three of her horses for the filming of some scenes. She also introduced the cast's youngest member, William Creswick, aged seven, who plays Little Jake in the show, to Jake the horse.

At least £500 of the budget was spent on ordering specialist wigs from a Southampton-based firm.

To book tickets for the show, ring the box office on 0870 905 5060. Performances are at 7pm and matinee performances are on Thursday and Saturday at 2pm.