Mega-musical, village hall epic and all points between, theatre has something for everybody, wherever they live. For convenience, the listings are divided into Classics, Modern Plays (established or brand new) and Young People's Theatre. In each section the listing is alphabetical by title. The In Brief section lists shows with venues too numerous to mention - where possible a contact number is given for specific details.
Information is as supplied by companies, but arrangements and opening dates can change: check before booking.
The Odyssey Gate Theatre, London, with Peter Oswald's version at High Wycombe Swan September 29, Bradford Mill October 1-2, Poole Jellicoe October 4, Bath Ustinov October 5-9, Stamford Arts October 14, Stratford-upon-Avon Other Place October 15-16.
The Millennium Story Northern Broadsides kick off a new era promenading with Tony Harrison's version of English mystery plays in two parts, The Passion, including "The Nativity" and "Doomsday", daily January 1-9 at Halifax Viaduct, Oldham Anchor Mill, Worksop Indoor Riding Stables, Barnsley Elsecar 21, Bradford Salt's Mill (for precise dates at each venue contact 01422 369704.
King Lear Northern Broadsides at Oldham Anchor Mill September 28-October 2, Basingstoke Haymarket October 5-16, Ollerton Indoor Riding Stables October 20-23, Hull New November 2-6, Halifax Viaduct November 8-13, Bury St. Edmunds Theatre Royal November 16-20.
The Importance of Being Earnest Bill Kenwright Ltd visit Wolverhampton Grand October 4-9, Eastbourne Congress October 11-16, Southend Cliffs October 18-23, Aberdeen His Majesty's October 25-30, Crewe Lyceum November 1-6, Birmingham Alexandra November 11-13, Brighton Theatre Royal November 15-29, Bath Theatre Royal November 22-27.
The Master Builder English Touring Theatre in late Ibsen at Crewe Lyceum October 4-9, Cambridge Arts October 12-16, Oxford Playhouse October 19-23, Buxton Opera House November 2-6, Poole Towngate November 9-13, Malvern Festival November 16-20, Guildford Yvonne Arnaud November 23-27. In-school workshops on realism, text and character available. Contact Angela Chrimes on 01270 501800.
Animal Farm Northern Stage's adaptation visits Mold Clwyd Theatr Cymru September 28-October 2, Brighton Gardner October 5-9, Preston Charter October 12-16, Manchester Contact November 2-6.
Black ComedyThe Real Inspector Hound inspired coupling of sixties comedies by Shaffer and Stoppard at Bath Theatre Royal September 28-October 2, Woking New Victoria October 5-9, Edinburgh King's October 12-16, Milton Keynes Theatre October 18-23.
A Doll's House Custard Factory update Ibsen at Birmingham, Manchester, Totnes, Dursley, Colchester, Windsor Burnley, Sheringham, Wisbech, Coventry, Bedford, Wolverhampton, Retford, Leicester to November 6.
Dr Faustus TAG Theatre with Edwin Morgan's reworking of Marlowe with a millennial flavour at Stirling MacRobert September 28, Dumfries Theatre Royal October 1-2, Castle Douglas Lochside October 4, Edinburgh Traverse October 7-8, Glenrothes Rothes October 26, Musselburgh Brunton November 11-13, Inverurie Town Hall November 17, Laurencekirk St Laurence November 20, Aberdeen Lemon Tree November 24, Fraserburgh Dalrymple November 27.
An Inspector Calls moral doomsday from J.B. Priestley and the Royal National Theatre at Cheltenham Everyman September 27-October 2, Reading Hexagon October 4-9, Swansea Grand October 11-16, Wolverhampton Grand October 18-23, Bromley Churchill October 25-30, Stoke-on-Trent Regent November 2-6, Plymouth Theatre Royal November 8-13, Bradford Alhambra November 16-20, Blackpool Grand November 22-27, Aberdeen His Majesty's November 30-December 4.
Blood Brothers Bill Kenwright sends Willy Russell's fateful tale of class-conditioned youth to Darlington Civic October 4-9, Leeds Grand October 11-23, Glasgow King's October 25-November 6, Norwich Theatre Royal November 8-20, Edinburgh King's November 22-December 4, York Grand Opera House December 6-11, Liverpool Empire December 14-January 22.
Closer Royal National Theatre with Patrick Marber's fine play of gripping love and obscene e-mails at Oxford Playhouse September 29-October 9, Malvern Festival November 3-6, Milton Keynes Theatre November 9-13, Bath Theatre Royal November 16-20, Sheffield Lyceum November 23-27, Coventry Warwick Arts Centre November 30-December 4, Poole Towngate December 7-11.
The Colour of Justice the Tricycle Theatre's documentary of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, edited by Richard Norton-Taylor, at Nottingham Playhouse September 29-October 2, cambridge Corn Exchange October 4-6, Coventry Warwick Arts Centre October 7-9, Belfast Grand Opera House October 11-16, Sheffield Crucible October 19-23.
Drummers Out of Joint at Colchester Mercury October 13-16, Liverpool Everyman October 19-23, Oxford Playhouse November 9-13, Plymouth Drum November 23-27, Lancaster Nuffield November 29-30.
Comment Schools that flocked to the last Out of Joint show, Our Country's Good, may find this a less easy ride. Simon Bennett gives an insider's view of burgling (drummer=burglar). The language is tough and there's a brutal anal rape scene. Yet this 90 minute piece makes most thieves-fall-out dramas look mushy while Max Stafford-Clark's production has his usual clarity. Theatre studies or social science post-16 students are offered workshops.
Gold! Hull Truck with Simon Stallworthy's story of ex-students recreating their glory days as an 1980s college band at Scunthorpe Plowright September 29-October 2, Wolverhampton Arena October 5-9, Wythenshawe Forum October 19-23, Buxton Opera House October 26-30, Chelmsford Civic November 3-6, Coventry Warwick Arts Centre November 9-13, Wakefield Theatre Royal November 16-20, Darlington Civic November 22-27, Huddersfield Lawrence Batley December 14-18.
Lord of the Flies Pilot Theatre travel with Nigel Williams's adaptation to Newbury Corn Exchange September 28-30, Bracknell Wilde October 5-9, Darlington Civic October 12-16, Poole Towngate October 19-23, Plymouth Theatre Royal October 26-30, Barnstaple Queen's November 1-5, Wythenshawe Forum November 9-13, Leicester Haymarket November 16-20, Coventry Warwick Arts Centre November 23-27, Buxton Opera House November 30-December 4. (Educational programme available on 01977 604852; resource pack on website HYPERLINK http:homepages.poptel.org.ukpilot.theatre) Comment The wrecked fuselage set provides precipitous heights to match the danger of Golding's story. A physically energetic production that should appeal to young people.
Masterclass Theatre Royal Bath tours Terrence McNally's portrait of opera singer Maria Callas to Richmond Theatre October 4-9, Bromley Churchill October 11-16, Malvern Festival October 18-23, Bath Theatre Royal October 25-30, Cambridge Arts November 1-6, Brighton Theatre Royal November 15-20.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Touring Consortium with Ken Kesey, adapted by Dale Wasserman, pitting individual chaos against insitutionalisation at Woking New Victoria September 28-October 2, Nottingham Theatre Royal October 5-9, Canterbury Marlowe October 12-16, Cambridge Arts October 18-23, Edinburgh King's October 26-30, Sheffield Lyceum November 1-6, Darlington Civic November 8-13, Wolverhampton Grand November 16-20, Norwich Theatre Royal November 23-27, Cardiff New November 30-December 4, Bath Theatre Royal December 6-11.
One for the Road Bristol Old Vic tour Willy Russell to Coventry Belgrade November 1-6, Richmond Theatre November 8-13, Bromley Churchill November 15-20, Brighton Theatre Royal November 22-27.
Return to the Forbidden Planet: The Next Generation! Pola Jones tours Bob Carlton's sci-fi rock take on "The Tempest" to Southend Cliffs September 27-October 2, Oxford Apollo October 4-9, Bristol Hippodrome October 11-16, Southampton Mayflower October 18-23, Nottingham Theatre Royal October 25-30, Edinburgh Festival November 1-6, High Wycombe Swan November 8-13, Cardiff New November 15-20, Canterbury Marlowe November 22-27, Leeds Grand November 29-December 4, Richmond Theatre December 6-11, Leicester De Montfort Hall December 13-18.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds tour Tom Stoppard's "Hamlet" October 4-9 to Chelmsford Civic October 11-13, Wellingborough Castle October 14-15, Spalding South Holland Centre October 19-20, Wakefield Theatre Royal October 22-23, Stevenage Gordon Craig October 25-27, Harlow Playhouse November 9-10, Stamford Arts November 11-12, Lowestoft Marina November 16-17, Redhill Harlequin November 18-19, Street Strode November 23-24, Ilfracombe Landmark November 25-27.
Seagulls Scarlet Theatre imagine Chekhov rehearsed by the great Russian director Meyerhold as Stalin's men move in at Brighton Gardner October 12-13, Coventry Warwick Arts Centre October 19-20, Redbridge Drama Centre October 21-22, Plymouth Drum October 25-30, Liverpool Unity November 5-6, Dundee Rep January 11-15, plus single nights in Bexhill, Farnham, New Milton, Lancaster, Blackburn, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Dunfermline, Barnet, Salford October 14-November 13.
Shang-A-Lang Catherine Johnson (who wrote Abba musical "Mamma Mia") here has ageing Bay City Rollers fans turn up for a tribute weekend. The play is their story, at Bromley Churchill September 27-October 2, Glasgow King's October 6-9, Peterborough Key October 11-16, Richmond Theatre October 18-23, Crawley Hawth October 27-30, Llandudno North Wales Theatre November 1-6, Coventry Belgrade November 8-13, Cheltenham Everyman November 15-20, Nottingham Theatre Royal November 29-December 4.
Are We In Here? NTC tour Stewart Howson's story of a village committee planning for the millennium unaware of what's about to happen around them. In village halls to November 7 (01665 602586).
In The Brain Forkbeard Fantasy apply their visuals to science. October 21-December 11 (0117 924 8141).
Doubtful Island Kneehigh take tales from Cornwall around Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset (01872 223159).
Hamlet: First Cut Red Shift present the first quarto with high fashions and percussive soundscore to December 4 (0171 378 9787).
Hamlet and Titus Andronicus English Shakespeare Company International offer 5-hander versions of two tragedies to December 4: some workshops available (0171 287 1113).
Happy Birthday Mr Deka D. Told by an Idiot's 45-minute production of Biye Bandele's cunning wordplay depiction of an awkward relationship.
Jonas Quick and the Temple of Time Eastern Angles at Ipswich Sir John Mills December 2-January 15, Julian Harries with timely piece about a non-compliant chip in the brain. (01473 211498).
Message from Neptune Eastern Angles with Tony Ramsay's hypothesis of the planet's discovery, touring East Anglia to November 13 (contact 01473 218232 for details of education events).
New South Wales Theatr Y Byd examine post-devolution Wales in Ian Rowlands's play to November 13 (01874 611622).
Riddance Paines Plough in Linda McLean's 70-minute piece about the past entanglements of three Glasgow friends. (0171 636 3750).
Snuffhouse Dustlouse Faulty Optic with a story told by ingenious machines and animations, to November 27 (01484 536027).
Soho Story Kaboodle with gangster musical involving character from the West Indies and East End November 9-December 8 (0151 709 2818).
Teechers Hull Truck with John Godber on schools touring to December 11 (01482 224800).
Widowers' Houses Royal National Theatre Education Department with early Shaw on slum landlords and young people in love October 7-February 5 (0171 452 3306).
Without Trace V-Tol offer physical theatre account of a missing person October 7-November 26 (0207 278 2432).
Arabian Nights Young Vic tour their latest Christmas success to Eastbourne Devonshire Park October 5-9, Chatham Central October 19-23, Cheltenham Everyman October 26-30, Crawley Hawth November 2-6, Glasgow Theatre Royal November 9-13, Coventry Warwick Arts Centre December 7-24.
Comment A colourful, inventive whirl of stories. At first Scheherazade has to force her fictions on the sultan who intends to kill her. A betrayed husband, all he sees in them is woman's infidelity. By the end, when the women really are tricksters, he's a sucker for the tales and has lost his misogeny. As well as being an ace show this could be the way to fulfil government proposals teaching the young about marriage.
Bagsy Me! Cleveland Theatre Company with Thomas Tidholm's (translated by Gabriella Berggren) solo for over 7s about sibling rivalry and parental preference, daytime at Birmingham mac October 3, Barnet Bull October 10, Glasgow Cranhill Children's Centre November 2-3, Coventry November 6: Belgrade am and Warwick Arts Centre pm.
Big Baby Theatre Centre in Brendan Murray's play for 14+, on the dark story of a gifted child at Manchester Royal Exchange Studio to October 2, Barnet Bull November 18. Also widely available in schools, with education and Inset work. Contact 0171 377 0379.
Breaking the Ice Pop-Up with Cuban dance and music in Sara Clifford's play for under 8s, in which a girl bored with family routine becomes involved in a struggle between sun and moon, at Leicester Phoenix December 15-17, Manchester Royal Exchange Studio December 20-January 4, Nottingham venues January 24-26, Stirling MacRobert January 28-29, Darlington Arts February 4-5, Kendal Brewery February 6.
Gorgeous Theatre Centre in Anna Furse's hour-long play for 14+ about time-travelling Alice who revels in being gorgeous at Barnet Bull October 14, Darlington Arts October 20, Wordsley Buckpool School November 22, Wednesbury Wood Green High School November 23 (details of education and Inset: 0171 377 0379).
Into the West Travelling Light with the show once known as Tir na n-og at Worksop Regal September 29, Bradford Alhambra October 1-2, Darlington Civic October 19-22, Tunbridge Wells Trinity October 23, Hexham Queen's Hall November 1, Musselburgh Brunton November 3, Stirling MacRobert November 5, Barnstaple Queen's November 8-9, Taunton Brewhouse November 10-11.
Comment Now given the name of the film it's based on, this mix of urban family realism and magical adventure is exceptional: fast-paced and deeply moving, it is also physically riveting.
The Lost and Moated Land Theatre-Rites with a magical journey reflecting birth, for under-5s daytimes at Barnet Bull October 5-6, Crawley Hawth October 8-9, Brighton Gardner October 28-31, Belfast Tower Street November 4-7, Salisbury Arts November 12-13, Chichester Minerva November 16-20, Ludlow Assembly November 23-24, Bradford Alhambra Studio November 26-27, Coventry Warwick Arts Centre November 30-December 4, Windsor Arts December 7-8, Farnham Maltings December 10-11.
Comment This retour of last year's hour-long piece is a valuable opportunity. Theatre-Rites specialise in work for young people based on visual and musical elements. This results in an emotionally stimulating piece well-adapted to the age-range. Young people are taken on an imaginative journey and, finally, a physical one round the performance space. High quality stuff.
Lucky You Pop-Up with Tim Newton's interactive piece for 7s-11s - outcome of research with the age group - where the young characters gamble real money in a virtual casino, daytimes at Bishop Auckland, Stirling, Glasgow, Warrington, Telford, Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Coventry, Canterbury, Watford, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Hastings, Brighton, Barnet, Southampton. Details: 0171 837 7588.
Me amp; My Shadow Theatre Alibi for 5s-10s. About childhood fears, from toads to grumps, with music, at Falmouth Arts October 9, Dartington Barn October 23, Dorset and Somerset village halls October 25-30, Torrington Plough November 13, Plymouth Barbican November 20, Bridport Arts November 27.
The Pied Piper Kaboodle at Manchester Green Room December 13-23 - more dates next year.
Pinocchio Norwich Puppet Theatre for 5+ daytimes at Norwich Puppet Theatre October 9; 16; December 18-20; 26-31; January 2-4, Woodbridge Riverside October 27, Frome Merlin October 29, Ickenham Compass Arts November 13, Barnet Bull November 14, Sheringham Little November 20, Windsor Community Arts November 27, Bury St Edmunds Woolpit December 11, Wisbech Angles January 5.
Two Weeks with the Queen Visible Fictions revive Mary Morris's adaptation of Morris Gleitzman. The challenges of friendship faced with death are movingly portrayed. Workshops are available for schools and for family groups, at Glasgow Tron September 28, Stirling MacRobert September 29; October 1-2, Aberdeen Lemon Tree October 5-6, Fraserburgh Dalrymple October 8, Banchory Woodend Barn October 9.
The Wind in the Willows Compass Theatre in Nick Chadwin and Neil Sissons' version at Buxton Opera House September 27-October 1, Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal October 26-28, Swansea Talies in December 9-11, plus brief visits to Stoke-on-Trent, Wakefield, Hexham, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alnwick, Petersfield, Aylesbury, Tewkesbury, Bedford, Redhill, Redditch, Ilfracombe, Chelmsford, Trowbridge, Maidenhead, Leighton Buzzard, Camberley, Hereford, Portsmouth, Canterbury, Kendal, Penrith, Rotherham, Howden, Stamford, Ormskirk, Sheringham, Cardigan, Derby, Ebbw Vale, Wolverhampton October 3-December 18.
The Witches Birmingham Stage Company in Roald Dahl's tale, adapted by David Wood, at Exeter Northcott October 3-13, Preston Charter November 16-20, St Helens Theatre Royal November 23-27, Birmingham Old Rep November 30-January 29.