A royal visitor left actors, designers and officials with smiles fit for the stage.

Prince Edward was a special guest at Theatr Clwyd in Mold at the end of the artistic venue’s 40th anniversary year.

The Earl of Wessex was welcomed by Liam Evans-Ford, the theatre’s executive director; artistic director Tamara Harvey, Cllr Brian Lloyd, chairman of Flintshire Council, County Hall chief executive Colin Everett, Charlotte Howard, the High Sheriff of Clwyd and Delyn MP David Hanson.

Mr Hanson said: “This visit is a great opportunity to showcase Theatr Clwyd to Prince Edward and bring to light the importance of the theatre on our culture and heartland.

“It is a great example of local arts which helps create jobs and puts Mold on the map.”

The Prince embarked on a detailed tour of the theatre including the workshops, design studios, wardrobes and prop stations of upcoming plays Uncle Vanya, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and the Christmas rock ‘n’ roll panto Sleeping Beauty.

A highlight for the Prince was a one-to-one performance by Christian Patterson, Mr Boo in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. The larger than life character sang Sweet Caroline and a Tom Jones tribute.

He also discussed wigs and fashion designs with the dedicated team of stylists, who were “lost for words” about his royal presence.

The Prince added the clothing sketches showed design “as far as the imagination will stretch” and he was intrigued by a balloon dress design for the panto.

Mr Evans-Ford said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to show the Royal family our brilliant facilities, especially with Prince Edward’s background and special interest in theatre and the arts.

“He particularly appreciated the costumes, the sets, and the technical aspects such as lighting and sound which are areas often overlooked.”

Tamara Harvey said: “We were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness to Theatr Clwyd as we are incredibly proud to create world class theatre in North Wales.

“It’s a privilege and a pleasure to showcase the expert skills of our staff here at the gateway to Wales.”