CHILDREN and Teddy Bears should enjoy one of Otley Courthouse's first shows of the New Year.

Freehand Theatre will present Frogs and Snails and Teddy Bear Tales, for three to seven year olds and their families, at 2pm on Saturday, January 23.

The play, by Lizzie Allen, starts with Bear struggling to get to sleep on the eve of his birthday, due to excitement.

Bedtime stories prove to be the remedy in a show, featuring actor-puppeteer Simon Hatfield, that is full of tales that explore the themes of time, story-making and birthdays.

The writer's previous play for young children, Under One Roof/Home, was shortlisted for the Brian Way Award for writing for children's theatre in 2008.

Freehand Theatre's production of Frogs and Snails and Teddy Bear Tales is enhanced by the work of textile designer Gill Lightfoot and the original music of the late composer Mark Vibrans, whose credits included work for the National Theatre, Birmingham Rep and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Children (and the young at heart) are invited to bring along their favourite Teddy Bear to the performance and help Bear wait for his birthday to begin.

Tickets cost £8 or £6 - bears free - and can be booked by popping into the Courthouse, visiting, or calling the box office on (01943) 467466.