COLCHESTER'S Packing Shed Theatre Company are making a return to the town with their latest theatrical offering.

A Midsummer Night's Scream has been described as Will Shakespeare meets Wes Craven as the traditional notion of open-air theatre is turned on its head with a suspenseful twist.

Two actresses turn up for an Eighties film shoot at an old country house cut off from nowhere. But as they start to rehearse their scenes, under the watchful eye of a director, who is more Vincent Price than Laurence Olivier, tales of fairies and love are soon replaced with stories of strange beasts and shadowy masked figures.

A Midsummer Night's Scream follows on from the company debut show, In Search of England, which had a sell-out three night run at the Mercury Studio Theatre in March.

Neil D'Arcy-Jones, who set up the company last year, says: "Alice Charrington who runs the Tymperleys tea room in Colchester asked whether we would like to do an open-air show but I said Packing Shed is all about new writing and not really into doing open-air Shakespeare productions.

"She said that was fine which then got me to thinking if we were going to do a twist on the open air Shakespeare what would that be. Eighties horror movies - obviously."

It runs at Tymperleys Garden, Trinity Street, Colchester, from August 30 to September 2, and if it rains the show will take place inside the historic Tudor house.

Tickets are £12 and £10 for concessions, available from the Colchester Arts Centre on 01206 500900 or on-line at