THEATRE Royal Winchester launches its women’s season of drama for autumn with a series of plays written by and performed by women.

They are all being presented at Winchester Discovery Centre.

The series begins with award-winning Mess on October 2, a play written by major talent Caroline Horton about anorexia and recovery, confronting the issue of obsession sensitively and engagingly to “breathtaking effect” (The Times).

The play was developed with experts from King’s College Institute of Psychiatry and Beat – the UK’s leading charity supporting people with eating disorders.

Based on the writer’s own experiences of anorexia, it portrays one woman’s journey to recovery and her rejection of an internal world of addiction and control for the outside world which is messy, chaotic and rich.

Described as “funny and provoking”, Chastity Belt, on November 6, asks the impossible question of whether women of a certain age should resign themselves to chastity.

Performed by Peta Lily, an actor renowned for her one-woman shows, this production, part of her experimentation with issues that have edge and relevance to women, examines the relationship between women’s sexuality and autonomy.

The play is set on the battle ground between trust and lust and its celebration of womanhood through a sharp, sassy performance will be great entertainment for over 16s.

Near Gone, on December 4, is a new work full of evocative story-telling. Two performers take to the stage with 400 fresh flowers to convey a story which is both humorous and meditative, drawing the audience into the relationship and the emotion.

This is an exciting performance delivered in English and Bulgarian, pulling together the familiar and the unknown in a hearfelt story about survival.

Tickets for all the shows are on sale now.