With his tongue firmly in his cheek, the principal teacher of music at Largs Academy has revealed why the school has taken on the ambitious theatre production ‘Phantom of the Opera’ in June.

Craig Smith said: “Last year, there were so many folk at the door on the way out of ‘Les Miserables’ who told me ‘you will never top that’. It got my back up, so we are going to have another challenge!” However, joking aside, Craig said: “If I never do anything better than ‘Les Mis’, then I will be very happy. It was certainly one of my highlights, but with Phantom we are going to try and match that effort. It is the school version, but as far as I can see there are hardly any changes from the main production.

“It is a very challenging musical for the children, and a real undertaking because of the operatic nature ofsome of the music, but although it is very taxing, it is great fun to do, and that brings with it a real challenge.” Last year, the famous revolving set from Les Miserables was used for the school version, but this time, Craig said: “Maggie Telfer has a bit of a job to do to visualise the set for Phantom of the Opera as we are really starting from scratch this time.

“It is set in the 19th century in the grand opera house in Paris, and to set the scene, the story is about all the things that go wrong on a regular basis in the city.” The role of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical was made famous by Michael Crawford.

The cast at Largs Academy have been busy rehearsing in the build-up to the big production, which tells how a young soprano becomes the obsession of a disfigured musical genius who lives beneath the Paris Opera House.

Ben Gilmartin, fresh from taking the leading role in Largs Operatic Society’s ‘Half a Sixpence’, will play the Phantom, with Ailie Austin as Christine and Ruth Hutchinson as Carlotta. Jordin Revel and Alistair Maxwell play the two comedy characters, Andrew and Firmin, Robbie Quinn plays Rauol, Megan McEleney plays Meg, and Madame Giri is played by Jennifer Gillespie.

With over half of the tickets having already been “phantomed” away by the public, time is of the essence if you want to see the big 2015 Academy musical finale.

The venue is Barrfields Theatre, Largs, and the dates are Sunday 21 June at 2pm, Monday 22 June, Tuesday 23 June and Wednesday 24 June at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £12 and are now available from: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/largsacademy