A PLAY about a woman who is terminally ill and planning her own funeral may seem an odd choice of play to kick off the New Year.

But the Chesil Theatre Company’s latest production Colder Than Here promises to be a very funny play.

It tells the story of a family grieving for a death that hasn’t happened yet; alarmed by a terminally ill mother’s determination to plan her departure and coming to terms with the idea of a world that will continue without her.

There is, of course, great sadness in the situation, but the playwright says she found it impossible when writing these characters to ignore their British sense of humour.

Director, Mary Stone, says “This is a darkly comic family drama about living, loving and dying.

Full of humour and pathos, this modern play tackles tough issues with a superb lightness of touch and will strike a chord with all ages.”

Colder Than Here runs for a week from tomorrow at Chesil Theatre in Winchester.

Call 0844 8700 887 or visit chesiltheatre.org.uk

n THE University of Southampton Theatre Group is putting on a Shakespeare play in a week!

Only the directors knew which of the Bard’s plays was being performed and the cast found out just seven days before the first performance, at 12 midday tomorrow.

Three more performances of the mysterious work take place in Garden Court of the university’s Highfield Campus tomorrow at 2pm, 4pm and 7pm.

n HOW do you measure a year?

In daylights. In sunsets. In midnights. In cups of coffee...or in love?

Rent follows a year in the life of a group of friends in New York City. While battling with disease, addiction and not being able to pay their rent, the question is asked “How do you measure your last year on Earth?”

Southampton University Student’s Union Showstoppers perform the rock musical at The Annex Theatre from Tuesday to Saturday.

See susushowstoppers.co.uk n THE brand new show Kinosthetic includes over 130 talented performers from Bay House School in Gosport.

The 11 to 18-year-olds take the audience on a journey through the different decades of film and how the world of cinema has changed over time.

There’s everything from Singin’ in the Rain, James Bond and Forest Gump to Avatar, Harry Potter and Slumdog Millionaire.

Performances take place from Tuesday to Thursday.

Tickets are available from Bay House School and Sixth Form.