AS FAR as locally produced theatre goes it doesn't come much better than from within the dramatic ranks of Ulverston Outsiders.

Down the years the popular thespians have landed many an annual award, especially those hosted by The Mail at Barrow (then North West Evening Mail) in the 1970s and 1980s, and although primarily a drama society, UO has put on Chicago and Cabaret and claims the distinction of also winning the trophy for best musical. The Outsiders won the Dorothy Till Trophy for best play on numerous occasions and many other awards for acting, set and backstage work.

Directed by Jean Hunt, the Outsiders stage Alan Ayckbourn's Woman in Mind at the Coronation Hall from Tuesday until Friday, November 19-22 (7.30pm).

First performed in Scarborough at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1985, the play transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre in London in 1986, starring Julia McKenzie as the central character, Susan, who starved of affection and love by her rather boring husband, Gerald, and her son Rick, who is ashamed of her, conjures up an imaginary family.

Set in the small suburban garden of Gerald and Susan, director Jean says that although Woman in Mind is one of Ayckbourn's darker comedies, it is a very funny and thought provoking play: "The action is all seen though Susan’s eyes - we see what is in her mind. But gradually Susan loses control over her dream, which breaks down into a nightmare when her real and imaginary families clash.

Helen Newell takes the role of Susan. Barrow born and bred, she explains that she and was too nervous to venture on to the stage until she was 34 and played the part of Dunyasha the maid in The Cherry Orchard in 2002. Since, she's played several major roles and gained many plaudits as an excellent Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Director Jean says she's thrilled with the way that Helen is creating the role of Susan, who is on stage throughout the play: "She is a joy to work with. You only have to tell her anything once and she does it."

Other members of the quality cast are Chris Barron as Susan's husband, Paul Jordin as Bill her doctor, Matt Berry as her son Rick and Kirsty Goodall as her sister-in-law Muriel. Susan’s imaginary family consists of Eddie Rafter as husband Andy, Duncan Lindsay as brother Tony and Hayley Parsons as daughter Lucy.

Coro box office 01229-587140.