A HOST of young talent will be bringing to life the stories of author Hans Christian Andersen at the Theatre Royal in Bath this week, celebrating the bicentenary both of the theatre and the famed Danish writer.

My Life as a Fairytale is a brand new show featuring 60 young people aged 12-21.

It intertwines the story of Andersen's life - from provincial boy to international celebrity - with some of his most famous tales, including The Little Mermaid, The Tin Soldier and The Ugly Duckling.

The show is the culmination of the Theatre Royal's annual three-week performance and production summer school.

Resident young people's director Lee Lyford has worked with his youthful team to create a show brimming with passion, ingenuity and wit.

Once again the 18th Century Ball Court at Prior Park provides the unique performance space (ably exploited by Lyford in previous years when he has filled its archways and windows with colour, light and, occasionally, animals) with sensational views over Bath providing a stunning backdrop.

Writer Hattie Taylor - responsible for the two previous, highly acclaimed Storm on the Lawn projects, the Odyssey in 2002 and the Arabian Nights in 2003 - has brought her unique voice to another canon of well-known tales.

This time, however, the fantastical legends are used to tell a rather more prosaic story, that of a man who struggles his whole life to achieve fame, only for it to prove his ultimate downfall.

My Life as a Fairytale is on at Prior Park, Bath until August 21. Tickets are £12.