YOUNG actors in the Ribble Valley are to tread the boards at a professional theatre, in a play about the foot and mouth epidemic.

Youngsters from Bowland High School, Grindleton and St Augustine's RC High School, Billington, will appear at the Dukes Theatre, Lancaster, on April 2.

They devised the play during a series of workshops with professional writers and actors from the Blaize Theatre Company, Talia Theatre, Ludus Dance and the Horse and Bamboo Touring Theatre Group.

During the workshop, they produced a short one-act play expressing their concerns about countryside and rural matters.

And they will express their thoughts and feelings during the Lancaster performance through music, lyrics, dance, comedy and masked mime.

The workshops were organised by the Rural Outreach Youth Drama Project and funded by the Northern Rural Partnership.

Melanie Smith, of the Northern Rural Partnership, said: "This will be an incredible introduction to live theatre for potential actors, artists and playwrights from the Ribble Valley. The Rural Outreach Youth Drama Project has been very successful, with schools and youth groups throughout Lancashire getting the opportunity to work closely with professional artists.

"They are debating issues that affect them and are being given the opportunity to perform at a top professional venue."