THEATRE Royal Winchester has launched an exciting new season of performances and events, featuring everything families, seasoned theatre-goers, and newcomers could ask for – including comedy legends, musicals, great stories, children’s favourites, informative talks, dance, and more.

Their summer season opens next month with a stage adaptation of the internationally best-selling children’s book series: Horrible Histories: A Brand New Barmy Britain (June 1 and 2); while stories from popular author, Julia Donaldson, will also be brought to life – The Scarecrow’s Wedding (October 5 and 6), and a special show presented by the writer herself, with music and puppets – The Gruffalo, The Witch and The Warthog (October 31 to November 2).

Families will also enjoy magic and mayhem in Oddsocks high-energy version of the Shakespearean classic, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (June 25), while a lesson in learning to love yourself is taught in a re-imagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s ugly duckling story in Honk! A Family Musical (June 28 and 29).

London Classic Theatre return with the Harold Pinter play, No Man’s Land (September 17 and 18), about two elderly writers whose stories become ever more elaborate as the whisky flows; and the David Glass Ensemble presents a physical rendition of the Charles Dickens classic, Bleak House (September 12 and 13), set in Victorian London.

Music for everyone’s tastes comes from a host of world renowned and West End acts – from the stars of the world’s second longest-running musical, Les Miserables, The Barricade Boys (June 7) to lively Irish group, The Wild Murphys, One Night in Dublin (June 5). The Pasadena Roof Orchestra (June 16) perform swing and big band; jazz comes from BBC radio broadcaster, Clare Teal (September 19), and the Welsh National Opera shine with their modern retelling of the story of a romantically deluded, old bachelor, in Don Pasquale (July 13).

Music and comedy combine when four actors take on 30 characters in comedy adventure, The Three Musketeers (September 27 and 28); musical fans will be blown away by Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (September 26), where a brand-new all-singing, all-dancing show is created from scratch every night based on audience suggestions alone; while witty poet, Roger McGough twins his poetry with music from LiTTLe MACHine (September 24). Plus, a host of stand-ups take to the stage, including Al Murray as Landlord of Hope and Glory (June 30 and July 1); Mark Watson (October 6); Frank Skinner (October 30), and frustrated author, Gill Sims, chronicles the hilarious highs and lows of motherhood in her show, Why Mummy Doesn’t Give A *** (June 19).

Entertaining and informative talks come from some of the nation’s favourite personalities, including Sir Michael Parkinson (June 3), who has interviewed many of the world’s most important cultural figures, from Madonna to Sir David Attenborough. TV archeologist, Alice Roberts (September 23) will discuss her career, delving in to Britain’s past; while respected wildlife cameraman, Doug Allan (16 September) will share stories about his time spent filming the world’s greatest species who live in the remotest corners of the planet. John Challis (September 20), who played Boycie in the hugely popular comedy series, Only Fools and Horses, will also spill the beans on his fellow cast members as well as other big names in showbusiness.

Dance enthusiasts will be captivated by Ballet Theatre UK’s celebration of the British iconic ballerina, Margot Fonteyn (June 20); and Vienna Festival Ballet’s enchanting production of the timeless fairytale, Snow White (October 8); while children will enjoy Luca Silvestri’s dance rendition of the world-famous, The Little Prince, about a young pilot who journeys through the universe only to become stranded. Plus, for contemporary dance enthusiasts, acrobatics, break-dancing and martial arts combine with an electro-rock soundtrack and thousands of pieces of paper in The Storm (October 2) by James Wilton Dance; while Casus Circus present You & I (June 26), which explores identity and celebrates the loving relationship between two gay acrobats.

There are community performances aplenty, including The Tempest+ (13-15 June), from the Winchester-based theatre company, Blue Apple, which supports performers with learning disabilities; and an X-Factor style event, to showcase Hampshire’s NHS talent, in aid of Winchester Hospice (8 June), the Winchester Musicals and Opera Society perform Made in Dagenham (22-25 May); and Integr8 Dance return with The Road to Oz (30-31 May) and their ever popular Dance Off (21-23 June & 14 July).

As well as performances on the stage there are lots of opportunities with the theatre’s Creative Learning Team’s to get involved and get creative in workshops, summers schools or Young Theatre Royal Youth Theatre.