A 30-STRONG cast will take to the stage for their first performance of the Phantom of the Opera tonight.

The youth production by Walney Musical Theatre Company will run until June 18 at The Forum in Barrow.

The show is the first youth production led by Walney Musical Theatre Company in around six years and despite the cast being largely compromised of those new to the theatre they are passionate about putting on a great performance of the iconic musical for audiences.

The haunting love story will see iconic songs such as Music of the Night and All I Ask of You being performed by the young cast who are hoping to mesmerise theatregoers.

Ethan Reece Martin, who plays the Phantom, said: “The rehearsal process has been rather full on, though every night has been an excellent journey.

“Being my first show everyone has been very patient and I couldn't thank them enough for that. I hope to bring an amazing performance to the stage and can only hope everyone enjoys this fantastic show we've been so fortunate to perform.

“Special thanks to John (director) and Paul (musical director) for their unending patience and teaching me what it is to be a performer, as well as the rest of the cast who've been nothing but supportive throughout this journey.”

The performers will be accompanied by an impressive 18-piece-orchestra, larger than the West End show which has a 14-piece-orchestra.

Mia Sullivan, who plays Christine, said: “Phantom has been a favourite show of mine for as long as I can remember, and Christine a dream role. To be given the opportunity to perform this part in this iconic show with such a wonderful company and with an orchestra larger than the west end is truly a once in a life time opportunity.”

For tickets to the performances, visit The Forum website at www.theforumbarrow.co.uk or alternatively, you can call the box office on: 01229 820000.