It may be a tale as old as time but the young members of Helston’s ACT1 theatre company are putting their own polish to a forthcoming production of Beauty and the Beast.

A Disney classic that became a Tony Award winning Broadway musical, the fairytale of how an unfeeling prince is transformed into a hideous beast by a spell, only to fall in love with a beautiful girl, is being staged at the Epworth Hall from Tuesday, May 28, until Saturday, June 1.

The 1991 Disney movie became the first animated film nominated for “best picture” at the Oscars, and the New York production has played to more than 5,000 audiences. It went on to become the sixth longest running Broadway musical of all time.

ACT1’s production features the same well-known characters, including Belle, the Beast, Gaston, Cogsworth, Lumiere and the cosy Mrs Potts.

In the past, the group has produced musicals such as Oliver!, Seussical, Peter Pan and Bugsy Malone and this show, featuring a cast of 65, sees the return of many familiar faces.

These include Eloise Roseby playing Belle, who has also featured in many Helston Methodist Church Drama Group productions, and Harry Charleston playing Lumiere, who recently took the title role in Helston Theatre company’s production of Oliver!

Most of the cast have been rehearsing four times a week, but director Gary Hunt stressed: “It is never a chore and always great fun, but we can be serious when necessary.”

Tickets, costing £6 for adults and £5 for children, are now on sale at Heathercraft in Coinagehall Street, Helston, or by calling the Epworth Hall on 01326 568936.

ACT1 charges its young members only £1 a week, so that no one is excluded, but it has the same staging budget as any other local production to increase the enjoyment of the young performers.