Here we go then, another great year of theatre is promised by our local professional and amateur theatres and companies, so let’s begin a few previews with the ever popular Headgate Theatre.

And the first production I have a personal interest in, as it marks my return to acting after a bit of a break.

Priory Players’ re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet sets the classic play in a residential home, with Romeo and Juliet the star-crossed lovers caught up in the rivalry between the Capulet and Montague wings.

I grabbed the chance to play the Nurse, as it’s a role likely never to be offered to me again, and to be in a company of fine local actors such as Tony Winn, (Romeo) and Sara Green (Juliet). It’s a concept that really works, and so little of the original text has had to be altered, so don’t miss this chance to see a new twist on an old tale.

It runs from January 30 to February 2.

The week after that Paper Lantern bring their astonishing production of Noel Coward’s The Vortex into the theatre. I saw it in Ipswich last year, and I can’t recommend this award-winning company enough, this production distils the jazz era as well as being startlingly relevant, with outstanding performances all round.

It’s Coward, but not as we are used to seeing. It runs from February 6 to 9.

Mad Hatter’s production in this season is the musical Big Fish, based on the film of the same name, and as all their productions at the Headgate sell out, do not leave it too late to book your tickets for this incredibly-talented troupe (March 6 to 9).

Another big musical treat will be Platform’s production of The Pyjama Game, staged by a company who always have tremendous fun and high production values (March 20 to 23).

Headgate Theatre Productions itself kick off the year with Playhouse Creatures, an excellent play about the first actresses to appear on stage in 1669, among them the notorious Nell Gwynne (April 3 to 6) And the wonderful Colchester Theatre Group stage Arthur Miller’s classic All My Sons, (April 10 to 13), and a double bill of new plays with Bring Back Chainmail and Boom Busters on February 20 and 21.

There is so much more than space will allow, so get online and start browsing and booking at