The Attfield Theatre have never been a group to shy away from a challenge - just in the past year they have produced period drama (Jane Austen's 'Emma'), an interpretation of a child classic (J.M. Barrie's 'Peter Pan') as well as out-and-out farce (in the form of Derek Benfield's side-splitting 'Off the Hook').

The opening show of the season - incidentally the groups 90th Anniversary season - is however, something of a hybrid.

Billed as a comedy, the play currently in production is 'The Actress' by Peter Quilter, a funny and yet insightful peek behind the proscenium curtain and into the eccentric, chaotic, hilarious and at times tragic world of the theatre

The director, Shaun Higgins, explains: "Directing a comedy is one thing, and tackling a tragedy is another, but this play falls into a category all of its own!"

The story we see unfold onstage centres around the events in the dressing room of Lydia Martin, a great actress in the final moments of her career, and the drama that takes place backstage as her dressing room is invaded by a host of old faces, some welcome and some not.

"Because we've got so many characters coming in, each with their own agenda, whether bearing an old grudge or there to steal a piece of Lydia's spotlight, we've had to find the perfect balance between straight drama and comedy. If you can make the audience laugh and smile then that's great, but we also want them to take home a more serious message," said Shaun.

The Actress opens at the Attfield Theatre, based in the Guildhall on the Bailey Head, on Saturday September 29, before starting a six-night run from Monday, October 1 until Saturday October 6.

All performances start at 7.45pm, doors open at 7.15pm. Tickets are £8 each and are available from the Box Office in the Guildhall, Oswestry, or by phoning 01691 680222. Tickets are also available on line through Ticketsource.