A volunteer-run theatre group have earned raved reviews after their latest show which was based on a famous children's author's story.

The Summerseat Players, based at the Theatre Royal on Smithy Street in Ramsbottom, have staged performances of author Jacqueline Wilson's The Suitcase Kid, wowing audiences.

Within the theatre, the Summerseat Players run a young company group for children between the ages of 10 to 17, with previous members including stage and screen actors Ralf Little, Zak Ford-Williams and society patron Kate O'Flynn.

The Suitcase Kid centres around a young girl, Andy, who finds herself with two new families after her parents split. Her mother meets a new man and her father starts a relationship with a new woman, leaving her faced with stepsiblings who she struggles to get along with.

The touching tale follows the dynamics between the two families and the drama that entails as Andy longs for her parents to be together again.

Director Andrea Parle said: “My daughter grew up reading Tracy Beaker stories and all the Jacqueline Wilson stuff and she loved it, so it's nice to be able to bring one of her stories to the stage.

“It’s quite a difficult, touching subject but it's done in quite a light-hearted and humorous way.

“We're very fortunate at Summerseat that we have a revolving stage, so the stage revolves to show the passage of time.

“Because of the children coming to watch it, I wanted it to be very colourful and bright and then show the different colours of the different houses.

“There was some singing in it as well so there was a lot of music behind the wordings.”

Bury Times: Cast members in the playCast members in the play (Image: Summerseat Players)

The show ran from January 18 to 27 and proved a smash hit with spectators leaving a mass of positive reviews.

Andrea added: “We've had some lovely written reviews that have come in from children, in their own handwriting, saying how they love it because obviously Jacqueline Wilson's a children's author, so they're used to reading the books.

“One of the children who plays Katie Grace has never been on stage, this is her very first performance so it's been quite daunting for her but she's been really good.

“The standing and quality of acting and set design is just as high as you could get in Manchester.”

Bury Times: A glowing review from a child spectatorA glowing review from a child spectator (Image: Summerseat Players)

The theatre group also run a "support local" campaign and actively engage with the community, often partnering with nearby restaurants and schools to encourage support.

Chair of the Summerseat Players, Emma Morris, said: “I'm very keen that we become better known within the community.

“It always surprises me that there's still people in the local area that come in and have never been to our theatre.

“So I'm very much about sort of trying to get our name out there and, get new people in all the time.”

“We try and shop local, so we use local printers, that kind of thing.

“It's important for us to get our name out because if people are not coming to the theatre, and they're not buying the tickets, then obviously that service goes away.”

For more information about the group visit www.summerseatplayers.co.uk.