PAULO Coelho's best-selling novel The Alchemist is brought to life at The Theatre in Chipping Norton next week.

The story of a shepherd boy's quest for his dream has sold almost 30 million copies all over the world, translated into 56 languages, and was voted Most Life-Changing Book.

Now Santiago's journey through the bazaars of Tangiers and the Egyptian desert is brought to life in the first English language staging of the tale.

The show, by the Cornish Theatre Collective, received praise from critics and played two sell-out seasons in London as well as touring nationwide. It boasts an original score played live as well as special aerial puppetry to create what was described in The Guardian as a genuinely transporting experience of theatrical alchemy.

It will be on stage at Chipping Norton on Thursday and Friday, February 3 and 4. Call the box office for tickets on 01608 642350.

Photographer Jennifer Gough-Cooper is staging an exhibition at The Theatre's Gallery from Tuesday until February 18. It will feature images of South Africa's landscape and people in a series of black and white photographs and a contrasting colour collection.

Visitors can also meet the artist at a special viewing on Sunday, February 6, from 6pm, as part of an evening of events at The Theatre to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela. There will also be a screening of the documentary Mandela (PG) at 7.30pm, introduced by Malcolm Harper, joint president of the UK United Nations Association.

Call the box office for film tickets. The Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-1pm and during events and films. Admission is free.