A CIRENCESTER teenager has stepped in to take over an historic theatre group which organises a yearly pantomime.

After starring in this month’s Phoenix Revue Company production of Puss in Boots at Cirencester’s Bingham Hall, Amy-May Knowles will take over the running of the group from Jan Woodrough who announced last summer that Puss in Boots would be her last production after 25 years with the group and more than ten years at the helm.

Her announcement left the company’s future in doubt until 17-year-old Amy-May stepped up.

Amy, who had the lead role in this year’s pantomime, said she was relishing the prospect of taking over the Phoenix Revue Company, which has been entertaining audiences in Cirencester for the past 85 years.

The drama and theatre studies student at Cirencester College said: “I am a little bit nervous but excited.

“I think it will be a great experience.

“It will help me if I do anything to do with acting in the future and look great on my CV.

“When Jan was ill last year I ended up working as director.

“This year she said ‘I am stepping down, how do you feel about it being your company?’ “I said yes straight away.”

Amy-May will have support from Kieran Powell, as producer, and stage manager Lee Green.

“We want a lot of feedback from people, plenty of people come now but we want to make sure it will be packed out every time,” she said.

The teenager’s community contributions have not gone unnoticed. She is a previous winner of Cirencster Rotary Club’s Young Person of the Year 2012, is chairman of Cirencester Youth Town Council and was a driving force behind last summer’s music event the Phoenix Festival.

She said the Phoenix Revue Company role was another opportunity to help people and highlight positive things going on in Cirencester.

She added: “You see so many programmes on the television about bad teenagers doing this and that, but that is only a small amount of teenagers and there are many that do good.”