ACTRESSES from Tavistock and Okehampton Colleges are among 25 of Devon's finest young thespians preparing for performances at Exeter's Phoenix Theatre.

Jennifer Ayres from Tavistock and Angelique de la Fontaine from Okehampton are members of Devon Youth Theatre, which is performing two challenging plays — Ionesco's 'Jacques, or Obedience' and John Gay's 'The What D'Ye Call It' — this week.

Zannah Chisholm, director of Devon Arts in Schools Initiative who run the youth theatre, said this was the first time this group of students had performed together.

They had enjoyed working with professional artists and were excited to perform in a professional venue. 'All of them have shown enormous dedication and who knows where we will see them next,'she said.

The play by Barnstaple-born Gay, which is said to have 'a plot that would put East Enders to shame', has not been produced for 250 years and contrasts with Ionesco's 1950s blend of surrealism and social comedy.

The performances continue today (Thursday) at 2.30pm and 7.30pm and tomorrow at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 or £2 concessions. The box office number is 01392 667080.