Theatre Royal Winchester is looking forward to welcoming in 2020 with an exciting programme of shows and events that will intrigue and excite regulars and audiences new to the theatre.

As always there is dance, drama, comedy, music, family and community performances lined up, talks by well-known personalities – and now, with the opening of the venue’s new Cafe Bar, jazz nights and free events, which showcase the very best in local and emerging talent. With so much in store, make sure to pick up a brochure to discover the show, or shows, for you.

The new year kicks off with music and Graffiti Classics: The Comedy String Quartet (January 31) breaking down elitist boundaries with an all-singing, all-dancing musical comedy show that features everything from Mozart to Elvis and Saturday Night Fever.

Other musical highlights include The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars (February 26), celebrating 60 years of one of the world’s most iconic music venues.

OperaUpClose – who create more accessible operatic productions – bring to the stage a new English version of Puccini’s Madam Butterfly (March 5), based in 1980s Japan where traditional culture opposes a new digital age.

The music of Marvin Gaye (February 12) and The Blues Brothers (April 26), and from shows including Les Miserables (March 22) and The Jersey Boys, (February 7) is celebrated; and there are performances from singers such as lead-singer of Bellowhead, Jon Boden (March 9), and John Illsey (March 11) from Dire Straits.

Families will adore stage adaptations of best-selling children’s books, Raymond Briggs’ The Bear (February 1-2) and The Tiger Who Came to Tea (April 17-19), TV’s Sarah and Duck (February 8-9), which sees the friends planning a birthday party for Scarf Lady – and Peppa Pig (March 7-8) is back, for her ‘best day ever’.

Children will also enjoy Oddsocks’ The Adventures of Pinocchio (February 15), with its imagination, music and humour; be blown away by Morgan and West: Unbelievable Science (March 15); learn how to make music with Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids (March 1); and explore the greatest mathematical mishaps with Matt Parker’s Comedy of Maths Errors (April 17).

There is family drama with Patrick Lynch, from CBeebies, who performs one-man shows of Jack and The Beanstalk (April 6) and Puss in Boots (April 7).

Big kids will remember Sooty (April 13), and there are an additional two magic shows from Britain’s Got Talent act, and Winchester-raised, Ben Hart (April 29 and May 13) after he performed two sell-out dates late last year.

Stand-up comedy comes from the extraordinary Alexei Sayle (February 3-4), Edinburgh Fringe sell-out, Phil Wang (February 8), Father Ted star Ardal O’Hanlon (February 14), Mark Thomas (April 18), who combines stand-up with storytelling and subversion; plus others.

Also, fans of the stage versions of radio comedy classics, The Goon Show and Hancock’s Half Hour, will enjoy their producers’ next offering – Round the Horne (February 25) – starring comic characters including Rambling Sid Rumpo and J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock.

Comedy Club 4 Kids (April 10) will also showcase some of the circuit’s best stand-ups and sketch acts, minus the swear words.

There is intense drama in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (March 19-21) about an orphan girl’s journey from a childhood of loneliness and cruelty, to life at Thornfield Hall and a relationship with the mysterious Mr Rochester; and chills in The Black Veil (February 28-29), based on Charles Dickens’ Victorian thriller about a mysteriously-veiled elderly woman who begs a newly-qualified doctor to visit a nameless patient – only for him to find himself embroiled in a web of lies and deceit that ends in death.

Crime comes in the form of Revenge (March 12-14) – about an MP who finds his party agent has been killed in a tragic accident (or was it?). Then Crimes, Camera and Action (April 15-16), set in golden-era Hollywood, tells of a Humphrey Bogart-esque spy who investigates the death of a screen starlet, stabbed as a result of a prop mix-up on set.

Featuring a cast of four, taking on multiple roles. Next, Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular (April 21-25) – directed by Michael Cabot and brought to the stage by one of the UK’s leading touring companies, London Classic Theatre – is a story about social climbing in 1970s suburbia, about a small-time tradesman and his wife who throw a Christmas party for their wealthy neighbours, before the tables turn and cracks in the other couples’ marriages begin to show.

Another book adaptation – featuring stars from TV’s Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Holby City – Helen Forrester’s million-selling By The Waters Of Liverpool (April 30 – May 2), sees a family in the 1930s lose their wealth and treat their daughter Helen as an unpaid slave.

Desperate to escape, things look up for Helen when she falls in love with a handsome seaman.

ACE dance and music present an evening of highly physical contemporary dance with SKIN Reimagined (February 6), which explores what lies beneath the