SHE’S spending Christmas away from home for the first time this year but actress Helen Woolf has landed herself a Beauty of a part.

Tonight she is in Honley helping to light up the Holme Valley village as it switches on its light and starts a weekend of festive fun including a Christmas market tomorrow.

“I’m really looking forward to performing in Beauty and the Beast in Huddersfield over Christmas,” said Helen.

“To be in such a beautiful place over the festive period is a dream come true.”

Helen is one of a cast of four who will stage a production of Beauty and the Beast at the Lawrence Batley Theatre from December 13-30.

“This will be my first Christmas away from my family home,” said Helen.

“But my parents and sister are coming up to stay in Huddersfield for Christmas.Š

“We’ve rented a little cottage in Holmfirth, so I’m very excited to still be able to see them, and for them to have a holiday at the same time.

“Having performed three shows on Christmas Eve then, on Christmas Day itself, I’m looking forward to having a lie-in, eating far too much and watching Muppets Christmas Carol – an annual family event, and something everyone should do on Christmas Day!

“Rehearsals for Beauty and The Beast have been going well, so I can’t wait for people to see the show.

“I think audiences, especially the children, will really enjoy our interpretation of a classic story.

“We all play multiple parts, hopefully create a bit of magic, and have a lot of fun!

“The other cast members and creative team are great to work with.”

Helen grew up in Cambridge and went to performing arts college in Brighton.

Two years ago she was accepted on to the prestigious musical theatre course at the Royal Academy of Music in London where she spent a year and was lucky enough to work with some big names in the musical theatre industry including Stephen Sondheim and Sir Elton John.

Helen graduated in July of last year and since then has been busy working on numerous projects.

She has played Rachel in Friends: The Opera for Comedy Central Television, and has recently returned from a sell-out arena tour in India as part of West End Story. Helen has also worked extensively as a concert artist performing at venues such as the Royal Festival hall, The Actors Church in Covent Garden, The Savoy (accompanied by Brian May!) and Wiltons Music Hall.

She plays Beauty at the LBT until December 30. Box office is on 01484 430528.