ART most definitely imitates life in Bolton Little Theatre's next production.

The hilarious comedy, "A Bunch of Amateurs" written by Ian Hislop ­— from Have I Got News for You Fame ­— and Nick Newman opens Bolton Little Theatre's new season.

Set in a Suffolk Village, Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steel is desperate to revive his fading career and leaps at the chance to play King Lear at Stratford ­— only to discover it is not Shakespeare's birth place, Stratford-upon-Avon, but an out of the way place where villagers are fighting to keep its theatre out of the hands of property developers.

And he has actually signed up with the "Strafford Player" who don't have amongst their company the likes of Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench ­— but are rather a "bunch of amateurs".

Jefferson’s monstrous ego, vanity and insecurity are tested to the limit by the am-dram thespians.

As Jefferson struggles to cope with small town life, no five star hotel just a bed and breakfast, no limo pick up and take him to the theatre ­— forcing him to walk ­— the villagers have to come to terms with their hero in close up, leaving the audience guessing whether the show will actually go on.

But as the two acting worlds collide a story worthy of the Bard himself reveals itself – with rivalry, hidden passions, family strife, and a voyage of self-discovery for all the characters.

Ian Hislop is well known for his witty appearances on, “Have I Got News For You,” as well as editing, “Private Eye,”magazine, and together with Nick Newman he has written many successful tv shows such as ,”Spitting Image,”and, “Murder Most Horrid.”

A spokesman for Bolton Little Theatre said: "They are on record as saying this is their love letter to amateur dramatics and they couldn’t leave it in better hands."

A Bunch of Amateurs was turned into a film in 2008 starring Burt Reynolds, Derek Jacobi, Alistair Petrie and Samantha Bond.

“A Bunch of Amateurs,”,Bolton Little Theatre,Hanover St, Bolton runs from September 16 until September 21.

More details are available from or at the box office, Monday 7:30-9pm or Friday 9:30-12 noon, or 01204 524469

There will be a BSL signed performance on Wednesday, September 18.

n And for those wanting some more Shakespearean drama, Bolton Little Theatre's next production will be a true Bard classic as it stages Measure for Measure from November 16 to 19.

The play has been abridged and adapted by Philip Scofield.

Tickets and more information are available from the website.