TECHNICAL wizardry is all part of the act in the latest production by the Malvern Theatre Players.

Their next play is an adaptation of a Graham Greene novel, Travels With My Aunt, and with 28 characters and nearly 40 scenes to manipulate the company has got a challenge on its hands.

But director Marie-Louise Doherty is confident of the company's ability.

"Obviously it's a full-length novel squashed down into a play but it's very like a film in its composition - it goes from one scene to another without any breaks in the action," she said.

She said she works around the situation by using various effects with the stage set.

"We've got a very basic set which is representative of windows, seats and things like that and then we've got a number of units such as tables and chests which are on the stage all the time but which we move about and then we create the rest with light and sound effects and projections," she explained.

"It's going very well and we're all on target," she added.

The play takes place in numerous locations at home and abroad in the year 1969.

Henry Pulling, a very respectable, retired bank manager in his early 50's is the principal character and the play begins with him meeting up with his eccentric aunt Augusta for the very first time.

His life then changes out of all proportions as he abandons his life of tatting and dahlia pruning to travelling on the Orient Express to Paraguay, involving himself in political coups and even drug smuggling.

"It's a lovely story, very English and highly humorous," said Miss Doherty.

The principal character, Henry Pulling, is played by two actors, Andrew Howie and Lee Farley, which is unusual but Miss Doherty said the part is so large that it needs to be shared.

"In the original production it was shared by four actors!" she said.

Travels With My Aunt is showing at Malvern Theatres between Wednesday, September 13 and Saturday, September 16.

Tickets, priced £8.50 and £6.50, are available from the Malvern Theatres box office on 01684 892277.

Future productions by the company include its Christmas play, The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner between December 6 and 9 and 26 and 30.

And for the first time in May next year the company will present its first youth-orientated project, The Chrysalids, an adaptation from the novel by John Wyndham.