A YOUNG actor is hoping to cast a spell over audiences with his portrayal of a boy who turns into a mouse.

Roald Dahl's classic children's tale The Witches is brewing up a magical half-term treat for all the family at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester.

And Christleton High School student Ben Rackham has landed the pivotal role of "Boy" in the play which is being staged at the theatre by Tip Top Productions between February 21 and 24. 

Ben Rackham plays "Boy"

Ben, 13, has been involved in many school productions including the title role in Billy Elliot and Lefou in Beauty and the Beast. 

The Witches is Bens third show with Tip Top, he was in Jesus Christ Superstar in 2011 and Our Day Out Last year, both staged at Theatr Clwyd in Mold.

Ben has attended Stagecoach Chester for nearly nine years and has performed in many professional productions, including Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Evita, and Scrooge - The Musical.

Rehearsals in full swing

Speaking about his leading role in the play, Ben said: "The hardest part about The Witches for me is trying to find the perfect balance of human and mouse, when playing boy-mouse" Before being cast in the role, Ben had heard of the book but only really found out the plot once rehearsals started.

The play which is suitable for children aged seven and over was adapted for the stage by David Wood and will be directed for Tip Top by Phil Cross, the creator of the popular Wizard School which took place at St Mary’s Centre recently for the second year running.  

The cast of The Witches

Speaking about Ben's love of performing, Phil said: "Ben really enjoys being onstage and hopes to continue with it later in life as a career". 

"I enjoy it because I get to explore new characters and meet people who enjoy the same thing as me.”

Full details about The Witches and all upcoming shows and events at the Forum Studio Theatre can be found at www.chestertheatre.co.uk where tickets can booked online.