Old and new to delight in the run up to a real Beauty of a panto in Peterborough

Private Live''Credit : Sheila Burnett
Private Live''Credit : Sheila Burnett
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A host of new shows and some old favourites make up the Key Theatre’s autumn season which gets under way next month.

A host of new shows and some old favourites make up the Key Theatre’s autumn season which gets under way next month.

Strictly Murder

Strictly Murder

Drama enthusiasts should look out for a number of fantastic plays, both in the main house and studio theatre, including the classic Strictly Murder (September 11-13). Set against the onset of World WarTwo, this exciting thriller is full of nail-biting twists and turns.

There is also Kenneth Williams’ story in Cult Figure (October 5) and Black Theatre Live return with Big Foot (October 20 – 21) - love, life and masculinity meet head-on as Joseph tells his poignantcoming-of- age story with a twist of the fantastical.

London Classic Theatre presents Noël Coward’s sparkling comedy Private Lives (November 13-15) and the always popular LipService bring their latest comedy Mr Darcy Loses the Plot (November 22).

Comedy always plays a big part in any Key season. From the producers of the Fawlty Towers Dining Experience, there is the equally hilarious and bonkers immersive show The Wedding Reception (September 14-16). Then, join stand-up comedian, poet, improviser, and TV stalwart Phill Jupitus (September 26) for over an hour of tales, laughs and diversions. Alternately, as seen on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, Q.I. etc. - and repeated on Dave, Andy Parsons (October 13) makes his debut. All this plus the bi-monthly Key Comedy Nights continue.

Music remains a staple diet for the Key and it all kicks off with 10 cc’s Graham Gouldman (September 21) followed by the ever-popular return of Chris Barber’s Big Band (September 23) and The Magnificent Music Hall (September 28) take you down memory lane.

Clare Teal and her Trio (October 6) celebrate the Doris Day songbook with special guest start Matthew Ford – both Key favourites – plus Strictly Come Dancing’s Lance Ellington (October 19) Sings Broadway with songs from Guys and Dolls, Les Mis, South Pacific, Wicked and many more.

Finally, the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers (November 12) make a welcome return with their unique thundering rhythms.

Dame Jenni Murray (September 25) tells the history of Britain, as you’ve never heard it before, through the achievements of 21 women whose lives enthral, intrigue and inspire.

The very funny and very interesting Gervase Phinn (October 4) retells the tales of life as a schools inspector in the Yorkshire Dales. Finally, Gok Wan (November 18) is live and baring all as he describes his humble beginnings on a Leicester council estate, to becoming one of the country’s most recognised faces.

Throughout the autumn there is also a feast of family fun. Firstly, explore timeless and treasured fables from the Indian sub-continent with Tales of Birbal (October 8). Then, join Biff – unlike other dogs he likes moonlight, music and walking on his toes in Dogs Don’t Do Ballet (October 15).

Big Bear is inviting you to the best picnic in town with the Teddy Bears’ Picnic (October 25) and finally, watch two opposites humorously get their wires crossed as they strive to find ways to work and play together in Bright Sparks (November 4).

Get the best seat in the house without the hassle or cost of travelling to London with a series of live screenings. Live from the Royal Opera House, Mozart’s glorious opera The Magic Flute (September 20) is brought enchantingly to life, plus, following the sell-out screening in December 2015, there is the glorious Alice in Wonderland (October 29).

From the Metropolitan Opera comes the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel (November 19. The creative team of One Man, Two Guvnors bring Young Marx (December 7). Then it is panto time with the enchanting story of Sleeping Beauty from December7 –January 7.