AN AMBITIOUS school ballet production believed to be the only one of its kind in the country is set to perform at a professional producing theatre.

Queen Elizabeth School at Kirkby Lonsdale’s production of Alice Through The Looking Glass is thought to be the only state school to have tackled a full-length ballet for its annual Christmas show and has secured a slot at Dukes Theatre in Lancaster next month.

The two-hour performance, which features 35 dancers and a 12-piece orchestra playing an original musical score written by head of music J Hartley, includes cast members as young as 14.

The feisty character of Alice, who feels like the world is against her, is played by 18-year-old student Kate Threlfall and is inspired by the emotive tale of Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s story Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.

This follows the school’s version of The Nutcracker ballet in 2011.

Director Jasper Marriott – who has taught at the school for more than nine years – began scripting the production last year.

“This is a huge collaboration for staff and students at the school and it is down to the ambitious attitude of all those involved, which has brought the project up to a professional level,” he said.

“The chance to perform at the Duke’s is the newest element for us and is a huge achievement.” He also paid credit to head teacher Chris Clarke for giving the theatre arts department the budget and freedom to put on a production of this scale.

“The Curious Dance Company has always worked in a way to attract a wider audience,” Mr Marriott said.

“We wanted to take it out of the school boundaries and present it as a quality production of a professional standard. And the technical ability of our performers has allowed us to achieve this.”