AT a time when many theatre companies are struggling for survival, it's wonderful to see that Abergavenny is bucking the trend and welcoming back a familiar name to the amateur theatre fold.

After a difficult few years it had looked as if Abergavenny Theatre Group was to be permanently on the backboiler, but thankfully last week saw the company back...and even better, back on top form.

For its first production in some time the newly invigorated Abergavenny Theatre Group, under its director William Gilbert, did not succumb to the temptation to take things easy, opting for Tim Supple's adaptation of Carol Ann Duffy's reworking of the classic Grimm fairy stories.

I can't say that Grimm Tales is my favourite piece of theatre, but in this company's hands it was suitably eerie and both entertained and occasionally chilled as the familiar tales took on a new darkness.

The company was largely led by Theatre Group stalwart John Geraghty whose confident stage presence provided worthy support for those less experienced performers but the well balanced production saw all members of the cast playing their part to the full with ease and competence.

Mari-Anne Gibson and Fiona Angwin were certainly names to look out for, with Liz Barnett taking the versatility award as she chilled in the opening tale as the murderous mother and raised hoots of delight moments later as the outrageous stepsister in the story of Asputtel.

In all this was a hugely enjoyable and polished ensemble production, with a stylish design and professional approach which deserved a far larger audience.

It's wonderful to see Abergavenny Theatre Group back in action and I look forward to enjoying their future productions as much as I have enjoyed their previous ones.