A CHARIOT race and a sea battle will be among highlights of the latest production from Keighley Playhouse.

The group will present Ben Hur (A Condensed Epic) at their Devonshire Street theatre from Monday to Saturday, June 24-29.

Ben Hur is the latest play from Patrick Barlow, creator of the smash-hit comedy spoof The 39 Steps, and similar fast-moving, knockabout action is likely.

A spokesman said: “A spectacular and historic recreation of Ancient Rome is transported to the Keighley Playhouse complete with an authentic sea battle with genuine water.

“There will be an unexpurgated and decadent Roman orgy, suitable for all ages, and the awe-inspiring and unforgettable climactic sequence - a sensational live chariot race (with real chariots) – all expertly staged by a cast of only . . . four actors!

“Ben-Hur is a pocket-sized production, paying homage to the 1950s film with the action intercut with that of a fictional amateur drama society who are staging the comedy complete with fallings-out, props not working and arguments erupting behind the scenes.”

The play maintains a two-fold narrative during the 7.30pm performances.

One is the story of the Judean nobleman condemned to die as a galley slave, who then rose to seek vengeance in the chariot races, all while a mysterious carpenter’s son gave sermons on the mount.

The other is the understaffed dramatic society presenting Ben Hur.

The spokesman added: “Prepare for rogue sound cues, unwieldy chariots and backstage drama. In this play-within-a-play, everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.

“Turning a film that included 10,000 extras into a play with just four actors is no easy task, but the cast take on a number of different roles, sometimes so quickly changed they forget who they are supposed to be.

“It’s not the greatest story ever told – but it’s certainly one of the funniest.”

Call 07599 890769 to book tickets.