RESIDENTS are being urged to support their local operatic society and attend a production of Franz Lehar’s ever popularThe Merry Widow.

Preparations are well under way for Astwood Bank Operatic Society's annual production which is being staged at The Palace Theatre next Month.

Set in 1900s Paris, the story concerns a rich widow and her countrymen’s attempts to ensure her money remains within the small nation of Pontevedro by finding the right husband for her.

The show offers plenty of humour and romance and the score is full of familiar songs such as Vilia,You’ll Find Me At Maxim’s and the Merry Widow Waltz plus, being Paris, an inevitable French Can-Can.

Melanie Hart, from the society, which practises every Monday night at the White Lion, said: "Book early for the best seats - and if you book through a society member your tickets will be cheaper than getting them direct from the theatre.

"The show is shaping up well with excellent principals and chorus."

The show opens at the Palace Theatre on Wednesday, March 12 and runs until Saturday, March 15 from 7.30pm including a 2.30pm Saturday matinee performance.

Tickets cost from £12 (concessions available) from 01527 63319 or