A TALE as old as time will be staged in Bolton so the festive spirit can be enjoyed a little longer.

Popular Bolton theatre company, Victoria Hall ADS, are putting on the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast.

Dawn Hargreaves, of Victoria Hall ADS, said: “With over fifty years of performing our annual panto, Victoria Hall ADS invite you to travel through this ‘Tale as Old as Time’ where a spell is cast on the handsome Prince turning him into a hideous Beast.

“He enjoys looking after his garden where he grows beautiful roses until, one day, the town Mayor sees the flowers and decides to pick one.

"The Beast is very angry at this and orders him to leave, with one condition ­— that he sends his daughter to live and work in his castle. So, Beauty does just that and ends up, in true panto style, falling in love with her master.”

The Beast is played by 16-year-old Anthony Johnson who, after playing one of the comedy duos for the last couple of years, now takes on a more serious role.

Katie Barnes is a demure Beauty; Barry Massey is in his usual guise as panto Dame; Neil Elston and Natalie Quinn take on the comedy parts of Biggle and Boggle; Emma Dearden is the Wicked Witch; Margaret Foster is the good Fairy and David Walsh is the Mayor.

Dawn said: “All the cast, crew and production team have worked tirelessly, putting so much time and effort into this show. With motivation, laughter and enthusiasm at the core, we are sure you’ll be swept along in the fun and mayhem!”

She added: “Our panto is not to be confused with a panto which is being held in the main Victoria Hall in December.

“We would appreciate your continued support and attendance at Beauty and the Beast where you will find the usual mad-cap ingredients Victoria Hall ADS are known for.”

The panto opens at the Victoria Hall on Friday January 3.

There will be performances on January 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18

Performances start at 7.15pm.

For more information visit victoriahallads.com or ring 01204 845493 or visit victoriahallbolton.co.uk

Victoria Hall ADS are part of the Bolton Amateur Dramatics scene and are based in the town centre of Bolton.

It is also a member of B.A.T.S. ­— Bolton Amateur Theatre Societies ­— and closely linked to many members from other groups.

Anyone who would like to be part of the group ­— acting, singing, dancing, taking part in any other way, or who simply wish to lend a hand ­— are welcome to join.

More details can be found on how by visiting the theatre company’s website.