YOUNG West End star Alex Rowland takes the role of Tiny Tim in a new Christmas musical coming to Swindon.

The eight-year-old, who recently moved to the UK from Cyprus, was in the cast of 42nd Street in London and is now hoping to get the people of Swindon in the festive spirit when he stars in A Christmas Carol, based on the Charles Dickens novel.

Michaela Ballard-Kearns is the director who guides a cast of 40 people, aged from four to 80, in The Chocolate Theatre’s musical.

It runs from November 23 to November 25 at the Citifaith Church, in the old ABC cinema building, in Regent Street, Swindon, from 7pm.

She says this is one of the biggest productions tackled by the company, with some exciting stage effects, including a giant puppet, lent by Robin Ainslie King, a local puppet maker. The ghosts from the story will be literally brought to life.

This is a dramatic version of the musical and Michaela advises that it is only suitable for children aged eight and above, although she says that is down to parental discretion.

“It is because of the ghosts,’’ she said. “Jacob Marley makes an interesting entrance; he stretches himself through a full length mirror! Christmas Present is a larger than life, jolly, yet ethereal character, who floats amongst the Victorian villagers with Scrooge at his side.

“And most excitingly, the Ghost Of Things To Come is the staggering 12ft tall puppet, who looms over the stage; he is actually quite spine-tingling, along with his menacing souls.’’

Jacob Marley is played by Simon Roberts, Christmas Present is played by David Lound, Scrooge is undertaken by Steve Huggins and the puppet is operated and voiced by Bob Linnegar.

The musical director is James Stevens and the choreography is by Hollie Brown.

The Chocolate Theatre is based at The Chocolate Studio, Marsh Farm near Royal Wootton Bassett. The company also has a junior branch, The Chocolate Buttons, and a rock ‘n’ roll group, The Chocolate Candy Band, as part of the Chocolate actory.

The actors are no strangers to spiritual encounters on stage as they performed Ghost in 2015.

Other successes have included last year’s Priscilla Queen of the Desert, High School Musical and Buddy.

Tickets for A Christmas Carol are £15/£13 (under 16) and are available from: – Flicky Harrison