VARIETY is the name of the game in Braintree Arts Theatre's exciting new season which spans just about every type of production and performance you can think of.
Theatre, music, cabaret, comedy, spoken word, children's shows and community events are all part of the rich mix of entertainment coming your way for the spring and summer season.
The season kicks off in fine style with an Audience with Tony Benn this Friday, January 11, in which the veteran left-winger will be talking about his political career and philosophy.
If you're missing the fun and frolics of pantomime, fear not because local company Pantaloons are bringing Robin Hood to Braintree Arts Theatre (BAT) from January 15-20 and January 23-26. A new production from an original script, expect lots of mirth and merriment with the Merry Men.
Music and comedy dominate the early weeks of the season at BAT with laughs coming courtesy of Patrick Monhan at the first Funhouse Comedy Club of the year on January 31 when he'll be joined by Alan Hudson, Pete Beckley and compere Steve N Allen.
The monthly comedy club continues through the year with hilarious headline acts including Nathan Caton on February 21, The Noise Next Door on March 21, James Acaster on April 18, Joe Lycett on May 16, Jonny Awsum on June 20 and Andrew Bird on July 18.
Keeping with the comedy theme, Jenny Elcair brings her latest show, Eclairious, to the theatre on February 16 while Lucy Porter's People Person will be coming to Braintree on March 1.
On April 25, television star Chris Ramsey brings his Feeling Lucky show to BAT while Jo Caulfield, one of the UK's top stand-ups brings Better The Devil You Know to Braintree on April 26.
A big hit at the Edinburgh Festival last year, Luisa Omielan's show What Would Beyonce Do? is at the BAT on May 31 while Pete Firman, hailed by the Daily Telegraph as "the new poster boy of British comedy magic" visits on April 27 with a night of trickery and laughter.
Music comes in many forms to Braintree Arts Theatre in the coming months with top Marc Bolan tribute act T-Rextasy leading the way on February 1, followed by legendary soul and r'n'b singer Geno Washington playing on February 8.
There'll be thunderous drumming courtesy of Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers with The Way Of the Drum on March 6 while evergreen Britpop band Dodgy play the venue on March and the Five Star Swing Big Band bring classic tunes from the past to BAT on March 10.
Looking further ahead, Four Poofs And A Piano combine comedy and music in their high camp show which comes to the theatre on April 12 while if you're a Michael Jackson fan you'll want to head to Braintree for the Jackson Live In Concert tribute show on May 10.
Meanwhile, one of Britain's most famous classical musicians, Julian Lloyd Webber will be performing on May 18 with a programme of pieces that includes music by Bach, Faure, Saint Saens and Delius as well as anecdotes between the music.
There's plenty for kids in the new season with Rumplestiltskin and the Wheel of Fortune on March 2, Unmythable on March 29, Super John on April 6 and The Girl With No Heart on May 11.
There's serious drama coming up too with Strindberg's Miss Julie at BAT on May 3-4 while After The Rainfall examines the British Empire and its downfall on May 24. Four Farces on May 29 is four one act plays with a Victorian theme and more than a hint of Monty Python them.
To find out more a and to book tickets, call 01376 556354 or go to www.braintreeartstheatre.com