DRAMA students will explore the issue of domestic violence in a play to be performed next week.

In a twist they will use comedy to satirise the use of violence in culture whilst alluding to the abusive relationship in seaside puppet show Punch and Judy.

The students — Lindsey Farley, Anthony Appleton, Vicky Cosgrove and Joey Cunningham — make up the Sucker Punch Theatre group and have written the play from scratch for their degree final project at the University of Bolton.

The show, which is titled Sucker Punch Cabaret, features sketches, songs and dance set in the format style of Punch and Judy, and also features Batman and Catwoman.

A group spokesman said: "We have chosen to take a controversial approach and are using comedy and light entertainment to encourage people to think about such a sensitive and emotional topic. Punch and Judy is a well-loved entertainment piece that, at its core, is a story of an abusive relationship yet we freely take children to watch it and are encouraged to laugh when one character harms another.

"It is this culture in entertainment that we hope to shine a light on and hopefully foster deeper thought and reflection on why we deem this acceptable.

"We have incorporated well known characters from popular culture to enable people to feel comfortable watching sketches that, were they real people, would be extremely confrontational and not as acceptable in regards to entertainment.

"The show is titled Sucker Punch Cabaret with the tagline 'The show that makes you laugh for all the wrong reasons but makes you think for all the right ones.'"

The production is at Hardy Hall, Little Lever, next Wednesday at 7pm. Tickets are £7 and £6 concessions.