FORMER King’s School student turned author David Whitley is directing a youth theatre production of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along.

The 26-year-old from Upton is taking a break from working on the third part of his novel trilogy which so far consists of the acclaimed books The Midnight Charter and The Children of the Lost.

He is directing the show, which he describes as ‘funny, poignant and bittersweet’.

He said: “It’s about a group of lifelong friends who look back through the years to ask themselves, how did we get here?

As to how David – who studied English at Corpus Christi, Oxford and was on the winning team for University Challenge in 2005 – got here, he describes his career as an author as a stroke of luck.

“I decided to take a year off after university to write, but I never thought anything would come of it,” he explained.

“I had plans to study for a master’s degree and go on to a career from there but my writing career unexpectedly took off.”

The show is at St Mary’s Centre, St Mary’s Hill, Chester on Sunday, July 17 and Monday July 18 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5, available from 07870 206976.