EXCITEMENT is brewing at Alloa Academy with preparations for this year's pantomime extravaganza well underway.

Titled Peter Pants and The Muted Mermaid, it will be the fourth show in the school's recent history and is set to feature the largest cast and backstage crew yet.

New and old faces in the cast are currently busy learning their lines and developing all aspects of their characters with Jamie Jack, principal teacher of the creative and aesthetic subjects faculty at the helm.

The fun show is promised to get the audience booing and hissing when it hits the stage in the festive period with four performances on the bill.

It is hoped the production will bring together the school and the wider community with parents invited to soak up some festive cheer.

Younger pupils from the academy's feeder schools will also be invited, indeed it is hoped some of them will join the cast for future pantomimes when they transition to secondary school.

The story will take the audience to the land of Atlanta where Forever Land has been added as a new extension.

It is a place where underwater worlds meet enchantment and magic, a land where Peter Pants (S4's Ben Johnson) cannot fly.

He will team up with Ella Seaweed (Carly Moultrie from S2), the mermaid everyone loves and who dreams of a world where fish tails are a thing of the past.

Representing the forces of evil will be Captain Tyrant Twisted Claw (Ben Kay from S5), joined by psychotic sea witch Ursula Ugly (S6's Amy McCandlish).

They are planning to banish festive fun forever, taking over the world in the process.

A raft of other colourful characters will be working for both sides but who knows if Christmas can be saved yet.

The script has been in the works since the very beginning of the year and with the full cast now assembled, rehearsals are underway.

Mr Jack, who is always keen to make sure the show is something everyone from the wider school community can enjoy, is promising a "crazy, energetic, full of life" story with some brilliant characters.

He said: "There's some really enthusiastic students this year; a lot of experienced pupils from the senior years but also a lot of new, fantastic first-years that will bring energy and excitement and it's great to see that.

"Our local feeder primary school came in during the summer and they commented last year that when they came to see the show, it was one of the highlights of their year.

"We are hoping to repeat that again and make it just a brilliant experience for everyone."

Thanks go to this year's sponsors Margaret Jack, Lochay Homes and Indigo Sun with further thanks to the school and "absolutely brilliant" parent council for support.

Day and evening performances, the latter open to parents with 7pm starts, will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, December 4 and 5.