THE first phase of exciting shows heading to Storyhouse in Chester for spring 2020 have been announced.

Next season has a strong focus on comedy, dance and musicals, as well as shows for younger audiences to guarantee a real family experience.

The new season starts in January, making it the ideal time for festive gift ideas to visit Storyhouse in the New Year to experience a live show.

Season highlights include the return of Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet this time presenting the stunning Swan Lake; comedy from female trio Fascinating Aida; the new stage production of The Sound Of Music; and a real musical treat from the BBC Big Band performing The Music Of Bond.

Storyhouse’s Season 11 of original drama continues in February and March with new adaptations of black comedy The Suicide; psychological thriller Miss Julie; and Jess Swale’s acclaimed drama Blue Stockings.

The new season gets off to a fun start in 2020 with Peter Pan Goes Wrong from Tuesday, January 21, to Sunday, January 26, 2020.

Storyhouse welcomes Mischief Theatre for a third visit following successful runs with The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery – this time they present Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Members of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are back on stage battling technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes. Will they ever make it Neverland? This is no pantomime, but audiences should expect a riotous take on this timeless JM Barrie tale.

There is also a welcome return for Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet who present the spectacular production Swan Lake from Thursday, January 30, to Saturday, February 1, 2020.

Swan Lake tells the story of Prince Siegfried and the Swan Princess, a tragic tale of love that triumphs over evil. The world’s most romantic ballet is magnificently brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s stunning score, performed by a live orchestra. The acclaimed company combines classical training and technique with outstanding soloists.

Madame Ovary on Friday, February 7, 2020, features Rosa Hesmondhalgh in this moving, uplifting play being staged in the Garret Theatre.

It’s January 2018 and Rosa Hesmondhalgh is writing her New Year’s resolutions. She vows to stop dating plonkers, start doing yoga, and write – but before she’s had time to delete her dating apps and start practising those yoga moves, her world changes. She is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Suddenly faced with hospitals, chemotherapy and her own mortality, Rosa’s new goal for the year ahead is to survive it. Madame Ovary is Rosa’s experience.

The Storyhouse Originals Season 11 starts on Saturday, February 8, 2020, and runs through to Sunday, March 15. The run features three productions – The Suicide, Miss Julie, and Blue Stockings – performance days and times vary.

The Suicide focuses on Simon and his dream to play the tuba. When that fails, he contemplates his own end. What should be a simple tragedy, becomes a total farce – and now everyone is out to profit from his misery. A classic Russian comedy.

Miss Julie is a new adaptation of August Strindberg’s thrilling psychological drama. Amy Ng presents this newly politically-charged version for Storyhouse. Set at Chinese New Year in 1940s Hong Kong, Julie is the daughter of the island’s British Governor. With her father away for the weekend, Julie heads downstairs to join the servants as they party. The result is a fight for survival among power, money and race.

Blue Stockings is set in 1896, Tess Moffat and her fellow first-years are determined to win the right to graduate from university. This acclaimed drama by Jessica Swale, tells the story of four defiant young women battle the cruelty of class divides, the distractions of love, and the men ready to do anything to stop them as they fight to change the future of education.

The season’s exciting comedy line-up starts with Josh Widdicombe – Bit Much Tour on Thursday 26 March 2020, followed the next evening by Jack Dee: Off The Telly on Friday, March 27, 2020.

Josh Widdicombe’s Bit Much Tour has been extended due to phenomenal demand. Described as a show that will change lives and how theatregoers perceive their place in the world – with plenty of laughs and Josh grumbles about hot comedy topics. Josh is best known for the twice BAFTA nominated and RTS award-winning show The Last Leg, as well as his critically acclaimed sitcom Josh, panel shows QI, Have I Got New For You, A League of Their Own, and podcast Quickly Kevin Will He Score.