After an extremely successful run of the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, the two Chelmsford theatres – the main house Civic and the more intimate Cramphorn – have announced their production schedule for the first months of 2010. And that’s not to mention plans for this Christmas’ pantomime (Aladdin) from 3 December to 2 January.

Hull Truck Theatre Company brings the John Godber comedy Men of the World to the Civic from 18 to 20 February. That’s followed between 4 and 6 March by Terry Malloy in The Lady Vanishes, Triode Productions’ comedy-thriller based on the famous Hitchcock film. More villainy is afoot when Shaun Williamson stars as Fletcher in Porridge, a Calibre Productions presentation which also toured during 2009. That runs from 29 March until 3 April in the Civic.

Around the corner is the Cramphorn, a comfortable studio theatre where Eastern Angles arrives on 29 April with The Long Way Home, an East Anglian take on an old central European folk tale. The European Arts Company is another ensemble with high production values. On 6 May in the Civic The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is unravelled. Then Dad’s Army Marches On, also in the Civic, with Leslie Grantham as Private Walters in another of this year’s Calibre tours from 17 to 22 May.

Children’s shows this spring include How the Koala Learnt to Hug by Steven Lee, who also wrote The Witch Bogey and Bink and the Hairy Fairy for his own People’s Theatre Company. Find out about this cuddly marsupial during matinee performances in the Cramphorn on 5 and 6 March.

Tall Stories is the company which brought The Gruffalo off the page and onto the stage and Mouse indeed confronts him in the Civic for daytime performances between 6 and 8 May. Before that there’s another picture-book adaptation, Something Else, which is at the Cramphorn on 10 April. The following week the latest David Wood adaptation of a Roald Dahl story – George’s Marvellous Medicine – spills onto the Civic stage between 13 and 17 April in the latest Birmingham Stage Company tour.