Talented youngsters will be putting on a show inspired by a successful community heritage project.

Kirkgate Youth Theatre is presenting ‘Following My Footsteps’ this evening (December 7).

"It is a funny and touching exploration of who we are and where we come from. The show is in two acts, with each act a distinct story," said a spokesman.

The Young Performers (aged nine to 13) present Act 1, the story of a bear, cave and a factory - rooted firmly in West Cumbria.

"Everyone keeps telling the bear that he isn't a bear until he begins to believe this. The show was built from lots of workshops exploring the children’s own sense of identity," said the spokesman.

Times and Star: The youngsters focused on their heritageThe youngsters focused on their heritage (Image: Kirkgate Youth Theatre)

Act 2 is an amalgamation of stories from the Young Actors (aged 13 – 18), who spent many weeks sharing stories about their family histories.

The youngsters discovered family connections across the world - from Ireland, to Essex, to Kastoria in northern Greece, to Africa’s Gold Coast.

Kirkgate Youth Theatre is led by professional drama practitioner Letitia Thornton.

"We created a fictional girl, Emma, played wonderfully by Maia, and all her fictional family are a mixture of real family members and stories from the whole group.

"We used names from everyone's real histories for our characters and we show the pivotal moments when people decided to move and leave their homes, tracing how Emma ended up in Cockermouth," said Letitia.

Most of the young people had at least one parent who was originally from outside of Cumbria.

"I didn’t want to ignore those whose heritage goes back right here, and one of our members had a fund of stories about, for example his grandmother who worked in the carpet factory in Salterbeck and his grandfather who worked in the steel works in Workington," said Letitia.

The show, at The Kirkgate Centre, is at 6pm.

Following My Footsteps is part of the wider 18-month Kirkgate Arts and Heritage project ‘In My Shoes’ celebrating West Cumbria’s diverse heritage, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Francis C Scott Charitable Trust, Cumberland Council, The Papcastle Recreational Fund, Arts Society and Cockermouth Town Council.