Spinning fairytales

Webbed tale: The cast members of Charlotte's Web line up on the stage at Chorley Little Theatre
Webbed tale: The cast members of Charlotte's Web line up on the stage at Chorley Little Theatre
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Chorley’s young stars spin a web of delights with their latest production which premieres this week.

The performers of Chorley Youth Theatre take on the stage adaptation of much-loved children’s book, Charlotte’s Web, on January 18 and 19.

Set on a country farm, the play tells the tale of an unlikely friendship which springs up between a young pig and the spider who lives in his barn.

As Wilbur grows into a fine pig, his spider friend Charlotte spins a web that unites all the farm’s animals and helps everyone to achieve their dream.

But, when Wilbur’s life is threatened, can his web spinning friend weave a plot which will help him avoid the butcher’s knife and save his bacon?

The spider creates a miracle which entrances the humans and makes Wilbur an unlikely star.

Her plan is the beginning of a great campaign which leads to Wilbur repaying his debt and doing what is most important to Charlotte.

Directed by Patrick Balcombe, this is a beautiful, knowing play about the importance of friendships aimed at both parents and children.

Its characters include Fern, a girl who understands what animals say to each other, Templeton, a greedy rat who can nevertheless occasionally be persuaded to carry out a good deed and, most importantly of all, the extraordinary spider, Charlotte, who proves to be “a true friend and a good writer.”

The play was adapted from E.B. White’s popular children’s tale by Joseph Robinette with advice from the author herself.

Robinette’s works have been produced across America and in 17 foreign countries. He collaborated with E.B. White on the authorized stage version of Charlotte’s Web and also penned a musical version with Charles Strouse. In 2006, he received the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America Medallion.

The book itself has been named by The Children’s Literature Association as “the best American children’s book of the past two hundred years.”

Charlotte’s Web is performed by the cast of Chorley Youth Theatre members who are all aged between 11 and 18.

The show is staged at Chorley Little Theatre, owned by Chorley Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society. Tickets are £4 for children and £6 for adults, from Malcolm’s Musicland 01257 264362 or www.chorleytheatre.com