CAST members of a children's Christmas show are celebrating a successful first week.

Christmas Cat and the Pudding Pirates is running at Durham's Gala Theatre.

From next Tuesday, it will be supplemented by A Christmas Carol, for older audiences, when the two shows will run concurrently.

Taking the lead role as Captain Holly Berry/Jolly Roger is Mark Cameron, who played Sean Rossi in Emmerdale for 18 months and has also appeared in EastEnders and Brookside.

Originally from the North-East, his great grandfather was involved in bringing together Newcastle East and West football clubs to form Newcastle United Football Club, which he still supports.

A theatre spokesman said the show was being well received by young audiences.

"It's geared towards school parties, but we have one or two later performances that families can come to," he said.

"It has been very popular with schools as it's a nice way of building up to Christmas.

"It's not a traditional pantomime, but it's got all the elements of a traditional panto like audience participation and a baddie, and we've also got local kids playing the Ratlings."

Tickets for the show, which runs mainly on mornings and afternoons until December 21, are available from the box office on 0191-332 4041.