FINAL preparations are underway for Carlisle’s award-winning youth theatre company’s highly anticipated summer show.

Tickets are still available to see StagedRight’s production of Barnum at the Circus marquee at Eden Golf Club following the ‘devastating’ enforced closure of The Sands Centre due to poor-quality concrete (Raac).

The venue for this year's showThe venue for this year's show (Image: Supplied) Within the show, the titular character of Barnum employs the world’s smallest man, whom he names General Tom Thumb.

Alongside Tom Thumb is Jumbo the elephant - a stage creation which needs to be huge to make Tom Thumb look small.

Despite their best efforts to hire an elephant costume, StagedRight were only able to find something made for panto and that didn't fit the image of the show.

Jumbo being paintedJumbo being painted (Image: StagedRight) The solution was to ask StagedRight graduate, Toby Cass - who will shortly graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he has been studying technical theatre - and his dad, Neil, who is technical manager for StagedRight, to come up with something.

It has taken many months of working weekends and the odd day off from university to transform their family garage into an elephant house.

Jumbo is more than 8 foot high and 10 foot long and built in the style of the UK touring production of Warhorse, with two people inside to operate the legs and head.

The engineering involved was very intricate as the legs and feet move in the same way as an elephant and the head, ears and trunk all work independently.

Once built, Toby invited fellow Conservatoire student Jacob Walls to paint Jumbo. Although he is also only just graduating, Jacob recently painted the set for the UK tour of Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang and his skills can also be seen on other UK tours including Pretty Woman, Jesus Christ Superstar and 42nd Street.

StagedRight director David McNeill said "We are so grateful to Toby, Neil and Jacob as Jumbo is truly amazing to watch and will add so much to the show.

“When students leave us aged 18, and head off to Uni and drama schools, many are able to come back with newly found skills that can be used in our productions.

“Our lighting design and operation for Barnum will be done by StagedRight graduate, Dan Walters, who is a top freelance designer and most recently toured with Alfie Boe and Michael Ball."

Two graduates that appeared in StagedRight's very first production of Barnum in 2005 are west end performer Jack McNeill, currently in the Book of Mormon, and Clark Wilkinson who is now overseeing the UK tour of Strictly star Johannes Radebe whilst also musical director for west end leading lady Marti Webb.

Clark will recreate the overture he originally played 19 years ago as the Ringmaster as well as playing keyboards in the live circus band.

Due to the venue size, this year StagedRight will perform five performances from Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14  with matinee performances at 3pm on the Saturday and Sunday and each evening at 7pm.

Tickets are on sale online or by calling 0333 666 3366.