IT HAS been a year and a half in the making with cancellations and lockdown restrictions plaguing plans.

But Theatre Royal Winchester can finally host shows once again.

The Autumn season has just been unveiled, which will kick off with the UK’s longest running musical theatre tour, Beyond the Barricade (Sunday August 29).

This show sees past principal performers from Les Miserables singing the best of Broadway and the West End.

Then there is Oh What a Night! (Saturday Sept 4), celebrating the songs of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

The Zoots’ bring Sounds of the 60s on Sunday September 19, performing the music of The Beatles, The Monkees, Elvis and many more.

Down for the Count Orchestra bring the Legends of Swing on October 9.

Status Quo front man, Francis Rossi (Sunday September 5), talks to broadcaster Mick Wall and shares the secrets of his 50 plus years in rock ‘n’ roll in I Talk Too Much.

As part of Winchester Comedy Festival, Mark Watson (Monday September 27) crams years of overthinking about the fragility of life in to his show; I’m a Celebrity... contestant Emily Atack (Thursday September 30) – having said goodbye to her carefree twenties – ponders life as a responsible grown up (sort of); and after supporting the likes of Michael McIntyre, the city’s own Paul McCaffrey (Friday October 1) returns with his very own show.

Comedy veteran Andy Hamilton (Sunday October 31) reminisces on sixty years on the planet; while, fresh from 2020’s Britain’s Got Talent final, new face Nabil Abdulrashid (Sunday October 10) reflects on his life as a child in military-governed Nigeria and a teenager in south London; the first British woman to have her own Netflix special, Bridget Christie (Tuesday October 12), performs her new show and finally winner of America’s Got Talent, Paul Zerdin (Tues November 16), shows audiences what it’s like to be a ventriloquist.

Austentatious (Saturday November 6 – Sunday November 7) sees a cast of the country’s quickest comic performers, in period costume, conjuring up a brand new ‘lost’ Jane Austen novel each show, based on an audience member’s title suggestion.

Working from original radio scripts, two master performers bring to life the BBC’s classic, Dad’s Army Radio Show (Tuesday September 28).

Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour legend, Jenni Murray (Wednesday September 8), opens up about what it’s like to be fat when society dictates that skinny is the norm; while Professor Brian Cox (Thursday September 9) is sure to blow minds with his brand-new show.

Acting royalty, Dame Judi Dench (Sunday October 24), who last appeared at the theatre in a dramatic recital written and produced by her biographer, John Miller – who she returns with to talk about her career highlights in a fundraiser for Home Start Winchester; while friend of the Royal family (Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret), Lady Anne Glenconner (Tuesday November 2), offers a warm, witty and exclusive insight in to the life of aristocratic woman.

Young children will enjoy an adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s beloved Stick Man (Thursday October 28).

There are yet more puppets in The Dong with the Luminous Nose (Tuesday October 26 – Wednesday October 27), based on Edward Lear’s poem, about a shy and troubled boy called Edward whose life is turned upside down.

For those interested in drama, the spine-chilling ghost story, based on true events, When Darkness Falls (Thursday September 16 – Saturday September 18) tells of a teacher and weekly Vlogger hosting a young paranormal expert who reveals Guernsey’s horrifying history.

The Ballad of Maria Marten (Tuesday October 5 – Friday October 8) is real-life murder mystery, The Red Barn Murder, which shocked the nation, when in 1828 Maria’s body was found under a barn floor.

London Classic Theatre bring Absurd Person Singular (Tuesday September 21 – Saturday September 25) – a comedy about social climbing in the 1970s.

Dramatic Solutions bring the one-woman show, Virginia Woolf: Killing the Angel on Thursday October 14 and there is comic chaos from a cast of four in murder mystery, Crimes in Egypt on Tuesday October 19.

Dance enthusiasts will be delighted to welcome the return of Ballet Theatre UK’s renowned company of international dancers, beautiful costumes and glittering stage sets, with their retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen (Sunday November 14); while fans of Strictly Come Dancing will enjoy seeing Ian Waite and Vincent Simone (Sunday November 21) who promise an evening of world class routines.

And finally, the end of the year will be marked with the theatre’s annual traditional family pantomime, this year Aladdin (Saturday November 24 – Sunday January 2).

Tickets are available from or call the Box Office on 01962 840 440.