FURNESS Academy’s lecture theatre will be transformed into Toad Hall for the school’s adaptation of Wind in the Willows.

The production, which is set for three-night extravaganza starting Thursday at 7pm, has seen more than 80 auditions from students, including young actor Luke Docherty - in his first year - taking the lead role of Mole.

The Furness Academy pupils began rehearsals in October in order to capture Kenneth Grahame’s original story in a comical and fresh way.

Subject leader for drama, Richard Kitchen said: “I’m so immensely proud of the months of hard work put in by the students.

“We have a wealth of talent and it has always been my intention to nurture the students abilities.

“Putting on a musical is a complex challenge, sometimes even more so in a school as the vital work of teaching and learning must carry on regardless of rehearsals and scenery construction.

“However we aim to put students to the test as part of a performance that is as close to professional as we can make it.

“We’re so lucky to have very great facilities for performing arts at the school with a brilliantly equipped theatre.”

The production has been supported by Orsted with a grant for scenery, which will be used in the show – hired from The Border Studio in Selkirk.

The sound and lighting students have had the benefit of professional training with Alex Linney of Linney PA systems and the Forum’s in-house technician Rachel Lawrence.

“There are over 40 students singing, dancing and acting their way through the show during our three-night run, supported by 30 students who have been trained for their own roles in stage management, lighting and sound operation and also front of house duties,” said Mr Kitchen.

“We’ve been incredibly lucky to have had support from local companies, particularly Lee Frith at Graphix Signs, who has helped with advertising the show.”

Tickets are available for the three shows, £6 for adults and £4 for 16s and under and any remaining tickets will be sold on the door each evening until capacity is reached.