A STUDENT production of a classic fairy tale has been hailed a big success.

Youngsters at Stockton Riverside College have been performing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at The Arc in Stockton to packed houses.

So far 5,200 tickets have been sold and the final figure is expected to be more than 6,500 representing near sell-out crowds.

Tutor Andy Johnson said: “The students have worked extremely hard for weeks to prepare for the production; we try and make the process as true to the industry as possible so that all of the students have to go through a rigorous audition process before they are cast.

"It can be really tough but rewarding in the long term. Many of our second year students are now going on to audition for stage school having had the experience of playing to nearly 7,000 people which stands them in great stead.”

The show will be performed until Friday, December 21. Tickets cost £9 (£7 concessions). Call The Arc on 01642 525199 or log on to arconline.co.uk