A FRESH take on a classic comic opera is all set to wow audiences in Witham.

Community-based theatre group the Witham Amateur Opera Society is putting the finishing touches to its production of Iolanthe, which will be coming to the Public Hall, in Collingwood Road, later this month.

The society produces two shows a year, which typically include full staging and an orchestra.

This year’s production recreates the classic Savoy opera, which was first put together by WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan in 1882.

Iolanthe follows a fairy who has been banished from her girlfriends because she married a mortal.

The Fairy Queen is persuaded to pardon Iolanthe and so the fairies learn of her half-mortal son Strephon, who tells his newfound aunts of his sorry situation.

Strephon is a bartender at the Arcadia club who like many in the building, has his eyes on the beautiful waitress Phyllis.

As the tale unfolds, it soon becomes clear Strephon’s main competition is his boss the Lord Chancellor, who is also rather fond of Phyllis.

The Lord Chancellor dismisses Strephon’s wish to marry Phyllis and also his attempts of moving the Arcadia club into the 21st century by introducing cocktails.

But Strephon is Phyllis’s guy, that is until she sees him with Iolanthe and decides to teach her man a lesson in an act of sheer jealousy.

The ensuing confusion leads to great hilarity and drama between the fairies and the peers, all of whom fight for power in this story of love, loss and ... cocktails.

This modern take of Iolanthe has been put together by the experienced Thomas Duchan, who has taken up the roles of both director and musical director.

Performances will take place across four consecutive days starting on Wednesday, April 24. Shows start at 7.30pm each day, with doors opening from 7pm. There is also a matinee show taking place on Saturday, April 27, which will starts at 2.30pm.

Tickets cost between £11.50 and £14, withthough there are discounts available for children and senior citizens.

To book your seat, contact 0300 201 0080 or visit the information centre at Witham Town Hall.