There will be a special treat for families in Hitchin this month – a concert for children, featuring live painting by a famed illustrator and author.

Letchworth’s James Mayhew, creator of the Katie and Ella Bella Ballerina series, will create illustrations beamed onto a big screen during the performance of Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals at St Mary’s Church.

The concert, by the St Mary’s Ensemble Orchestra, will be staged in two sessions – with James’ paintings raffled on the day. There will also be refreshments and face-painting, and James will be available to sign books.

James told the Comet: “I’m so happy to be coming to Hitchin to collaborate with these wonderful musicians.

“It’s quite a challenge to paint to Carnival of the Animals – some of the music only lasts a minute! But I think that’s part of the fun.

“The music is really lovely and very familiar. Combining it with art makes this the perfect way to introduce kids to classical music.”

The Carnival of the Animals, composed by Saint-Saëns during a sojourn in Austria in 1886, is made up of 14 movements – including Tortoises, Kangaroos, Fossils and The Swan.

There will be two shows at St Mary’s on Saturday, February 24, at 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

For tickets to the earlier show, see For the later show, see Tickets are also available from the Hitchin Initiative in Churchyard.