Students at Rotorua Lakes High School are exploring their inner feline as they prepare for their biennial school production.

Based on a New Zealand screenplay written by Rory Butler and Ngaire Riley, Street Cats centres on the rivalry between two gangs, the Streetcats and the Maggots.

Opening night is next Tuesday and the cast is itching to get on stage after three months of relentless practising.

Director and English teacher Katherine Beigeman adapted the original screenplay into a pantomime.

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Ms Beigeman also included New Zealand idioms and humour into the script and said the audience could expect to feel a range of emotions.

"I found it easy adapting the script to reflect the Rotorua Lakes High School culture and the audience will feel like they're on a rollercoaster.

"There is a lot of action, a love story, humour and thought-provoking themes so there is something for everyone."

Ms Beigman said there was a lot of work involved in a pantomime production but the atmosphere it created was "priceless".

Ebony Walsh, 17, is a level 3 drama student and is cast as General, the leader of the Streetcats gang, and enjoyed getting into the role. "General is an authoritative figure who is tough but reasonable.

"I've had a lot of fun getting into character."

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Ebony said when preparing to play General, she watched the cats in her street and incorporated what she observed with the personality of her character.

Street Cats runs from June 24 to 27 and tickets can be purchased from Rotorua Lakes High School or Victoria Grove Costume Hire.