A THEATRE group will perform Laurence Boswell's Beauty and the Beast in memory of its founder.

Furness Youth Theatre founder and producer Elizabeth (Liz) Loveless died earlier this year after a period of deteriorating health.

Over 20 young people aged between seven and 16 will finish the play she started at the Forum.

Son Chris Loveless, whose productions have played in London's West End, the regions and New York, said: "This will be a very special production for the group as last February my mother passed away.

"She was midway through producing the show when she died and we have no doubt that she would have wanted the show to continue. We are intending to dedicate the production to her memory.

"My mother moved to Ulverston in the mid-seventies and soon got involved in producing theatre with local children and young people.

"Her contribution to the local community was immense - she was responsible for hundreds of shows and events in Furness and was an inspiring and positive influence on thousands of young people in her youth theatre work and also in her work as a school teacher."

Some of Liz's first productions in Ulverston involved her sons Alex and Chris.

She later became involved with Neville Street Sunday School and Furness Youth Theatre predecessor ACT, putting on performances of Peter Pan, The Hobbit and a Christmas Carol, as well as other favourites Annie, Oliver and original production To Death and Glory.

The Beauty and the Beast is being directed by Chris and 14-year-old Malika Taylor acts as the movement director after making her debut in the role for last year's production of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, which was nominated for seven Association of Community Theatre awards.

Maddy Backhouse, who was nominated for the Association of Community Theatre award last year for Most Accomplished Actress, plays Beauty and Most Accomplished Character Actor nominee Noah Jepson plays the Beast.

The play will run from May 18-20 at the Forum on Duke Street in Barrow at 7pm.

Furness Youth Theatre performs and rehearse across Barrow, Dalton, Broughton and Ulverston.