BY invitation might be an unusual way to form a cast, but it hasn’t hindered a company of the same name as a variety of societies have joined together to present a musical based on a Tony awards winning film.

‘Nine’, which features performers drawn from five different theatre and music societies including Hitchin Thespians and Letchworth Arcadians, kicks off its first of three showings tonight (Thursday) for a production adapted from a film and a novel.

Jim Snell, who has directed for societies across the Home Counties, and Tom Evans, of Hitchin Thespians, came up with the idea together to reproduce a musical of Arthur Kopit’s book, based on Federico Fellini’s award-winning film Eight and a Half.

The new version of the tale - which follows a film director who draws upon his past relationships in an attempt to conjure up a new plot - will be held at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin.

By Invitation will be donating funds from tonight’s evening show to Letchworth GC-based Garden House Hospital, before two further performances at the Walsworth Road theatre tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday.

Tickets cost �12 or �10 concessions and are available at the Queen Mother Theatre on 01462 455166.

All performances start at 7.45pm.