Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves are on the way as they prepare for a January premiere.

The Burneside Amateur Theatrical Society will be performing its 49th panto at The Bryce from Friday, January 5.

Having worked for the past few months to get the show ready, director Gordon Lawson promised that it would be the 'most spectacular yet' from the society.

He added: "We'll have heroes and villains, spooky caves and ghosts...coupled with laughs and song."

The Westmorland Gazette: The 40 Thieves with some lootThe 40 Thieves with some loot (Image: BATS)

The panto has been especially written for the society by returning Dame Duncan Cramphorn.

A year ago, Cramphorn was drafted in at the last minute to save the show when the previous Dame had been forced to drop out.

He explained: "It was around mid-morning on Friday, January 13 that my phone started buzzing.

"Nothing particularly unusual in that but the fact that the call was from the Panto Director Gordon Lawson was very unusual so it was not without some trepidation that I answered."

The Westmorland Gazette: The show poster with performance datesThe show poster with performance dates (Image: BATS)

It was a trademark theatre idiom that inspired Cramphorn to come to the show's rescue and ultimately led to him writing this year's show.

"Well, the show must go on and someone had to step into the breach," he said.

"Seven hours on from that call, I was up on stage and armed with the best prop an amateur actor could ever hope for: a script.

"There followed three of the most fun performances I have ever had on stage and days after, the buzz still hadn’t worn off, so with the theatrical bug clearly having taken another bite out of me, I decided to have a go at writing the next panto - I didn’t think I would be in it but there you go."

Locals are invited to join the Baba family and friends (including Camella, the dancing camel and Mama Baba, the beloved dame) through the twists and turns of a great story as they head towards their inevitable happy ending.

Tickets for the show can be bought here.