IT'S time to express your elf!

Carol Johnson, from Bromley Cross, has released her inner elf, and is urging others to do the same to raise money for the Octagon's showstopping multi-million pound transformation.

The Bolton at Home's director of asset management has set herself 50 challenges and activities to raise funds and awareness for the theatre's plans.

And as part of that Carol dressed up as an Elf, after a friend said on Facebook he would pay £10 to see her dressed as one.

Not one to turn down a challenge, Carol, who is also a trustee at the Octagon Theatre, chaired a meeting as an elf — and raised £150.

She said: "A friend of mine posted a picture of herself dressed as an elf for a fancy dress party, and after another friend said he would pay to see me dressed the same I decided to do it.

"My friend loaned me the costume — which I think are a pair of pyjamas.

"I had to walk ten minutes to the office dressed as an Elf and no one batted an eyelid."

Realising how much fun it is to be an elf, she decided to take it a step further and now has challenged Roddy Gauld, the chief executive to dress up as an elf.

Carol said: "I'm not sure whether to be worried that so many people wanted to see me dressed as an elf."

She added: "Roddy has until the end of February to dress up as an elf and to raise £50. The idea is to have an elf a month so we have the 12 elves of Christmas who we can bring together at the end of the year.

"If each elf raises £50 that is £600 and it is quite easy to raise £50."

Roddy will then be able to nominate someone else, preferably to someone from another organisation to spread the word about theatre and its plans.

Up until next autumn, Carol will be taking part in fundraising activities including an open swim as well as working with other organisation such as the Bolton Lads and Girls Club and Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme.

She said: "The Octagon does a lot of work with Bolton at Home, they provide tickets for our customers who might not be able to afford to go to the theatre and the theatre holds workshops.

"The Octagon is a charity and I don't think many people know it is a charity and just think it is another business, but it does a lot of work in the community.

"It is a fantastic theatre which stages great productions."

Employees of local companies are being invited to nominate someone from their management team to be an elf so there is a continuous flow of the mythical creatures over the year.

The Octagon is know for staging award-winning plays. Bronte's classic Jane Eyre finishes this Saturday.

Suggestions for elves should be emailed to