A 40-YEAR-OLD light opera society is scaling down its activities after dwindling numbers left its future at risk.

Burnley and Pendle Gilbert and Sullivan Theatre Company has been forced to cancel its next production of The Sorcerer, at Pendle Hippodrome.

Following the cancellation a meeting was held to discuss ways of boosting the numbers and the company is now hoping to work alongside Pendle Opera and replacing large productions with smaller concerts and recitals.

The Sorcerer would have required a large cast and crew to fill a number of roles both on stage and behind the scenes. The orchestra alone would have been made up of around 30 people.

And early rehearsals showed that another 35 people were needed to make the show a success.

A spokesmansaid: “It’s always very sad when these things have to happen. It feels like we’re letting down a lot of people. We could have continued with rehearsals but it would have been dragging out the agony.

“We’re not under threat but might have to consider what the future holds. Concerts and recitals might be more feasible.”

There has been a reduction in the number of volunteers, members and audiences in recent years which has been put down to a lack of ‘young blood’ as well as problems caused by the global economic recession.

Anyone interested in supporting the company should call Heather Nicholas on 01282 455233.