Lighthouse's programme of high quality drama begins with three unique and powerful productions - Speechless, We Are Three Sisters and Turn Back The Clock - in September and October, followed by some outstanding examples of English theatre at its best, starting in November with Equus and continuing with two classics from Shakespeare - A Midsummer's Night Dream and MacBeth - in November and February respectively.
From its Broadway beginnings to the classic film musical, Annie, one of the best loved family musicals of all time, is one of the early highlights of the new season. With a score including classics such as 'It's A Hard Knock Life' and 'Easy Street', not to mention the legendary 'Tomorrow', the hilarious Su Pollard leads a star cast of over 40 talented artists in a production containing fantastically visual choreography and a side-splittingly funny script.
The highly valued programme for families and young people goes from strength to strength with a perfect blend of educational and entertaining productions, including a return for the Birmingham Stage Company with two different Horrible Histories shows, adapting both Awful Egyptians and Ruthless Romans for the theatre. There is also a smelly rendezvous with Mr Stink - based on Little Britain star David Walliam's best-selling book - on its world premiere stage tour, while the New Year sees highly acclaimed New Forest company Forest Forge bring its magical version of the children's classic The Phoenix and the Carpet to the Studio.
Following the huge success last year of its first ever 'homegrown' panto, festive season silliness returns in December as Lighthouse present Cinderella, featuring a fabulous cast that includes two real life Shetland ponies! The really little ones aren't forgotten either as Lighthouse resident artist Niki McCretton, and her Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company, present another fun and quirky retelling of a family favourite in November, this time with The Hare and the Tortoise.
Last year's breathtaking Carte Blanche contemporary circus season is back, including the return of Ockham's Razor with a triple-bill of daring physical aerial theatre, alongside new visitors Cirque Du Ciel from China, with the internationally acclaimed production Shanghai, touring the UK for the very first time, performing a 2 hour extravaganza of acrobatics, modern dance, original music and martial arts, with superb costumes, sets and lighting.
There's also comedy with another brilliant line-up of top stand-ups including Jimmy Carr, Shappi Khorsandi, Jo Caulfield, Tommy Tiernan and Sarah Millican, as well as the return of the hugely popular monthly comedy nights from The Comedy Works.
Dance Touring Partnership present the explosive Happy As Larry in September, while the renowned Moscow City Ballet return in February to enchant with performances of the quintessential and timeless ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.
Other season highlights include another Big Sing in September, with Lighthouse inviting choirs and individual singers to become part of a massed choir performing Karl Jenkins The Armed Man with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and players from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of BSC Music Director, Gavin Carr. The Lighthouse Big Sing is for anyone who loves singing, for all ages and experience and participants will spend the day in rehearsal, with the performance open to the public.