CHRISTMAS is just around the corner and Kendal College Theatre Arts is blazing a festive trail with the much loved tale, The Hundred and One Dalmatians.

Originally created by Dodie Smith and made famous by Disney, the college's innovative head of The Arts and Media, Hilary Pezet, said it will be KC’s own devised version of the show, combining live music, puppetry and lots of fast paced action: “We will be transforming The Box Theatre (Kendal) into an imaginative space as we join Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita and their idyllic life with their humans, Mr and Mrs Dearly and that special day when their house is filled with the patter of tiny paws when Perdita gives birth to a litter of adorable puppies. But just as the Dearlys get used to their new housemates, the puppies mysteriously vanish.

“It is certainly a challenge and probably the most demanding one to date with 101 dogs to create.”

The Hundred and One Dalmatians will run from Monday until Monday, December 2-9, 10am and 1.30pm (excluding Saturday and Sunday) with evening performances on the Thursday and Friday, December 5/6 (7pm).

With the help of the canine community and an Old English Sheepdog, Pongo and Perdita set out on an adventure to find the missing puppies. Their quest leads them to the vicious Cruella de Vil. She hates dogs but loves fur coats and has set her sights on a certain black and white spotty pattern. Will the animals be able to get home safely in time for Christmas?

“We have decided that the actors will play the puppies and the dog characters and already have had a great workshop with The Knotted Project where students tried out their ideas," adds Hilary. "There is no doubt this is challenging because, apart from anything, Disney changed a fair bit of the story and so we are balancing the original book with the bits that we know children will expect from the Disney story as well. The students are having a great time exploring what works and how to show everything from Cruella and her love of fur to 15 puppies being born.”