There’s something to appeal to most theatrical tastes in the summer and autumn season programme for the Civic and Cramphorn theatres in Chelmsford. Comedy thrillers take to the stage during May and December in the shape of two Ian Dickens productions, Evergreen pour a Coward miscellany into May and London Classic Theatre steps forth with one of Peter Shaffer’s dramas in November.

A one-woman show about Elizabeth I created and performed by Rebecca Vaughan is at the Cramphorn on 12 May. Vaughan’s previous compilation Austen’s Women has toured successfully. At the Civic, you can find out Who Killed “Agatha” Christie during the week of 17 to 21 May; it’s by Tudor Gates. Cowardy Custard from 25-28 May promises to be a stylish affair, starring Dillie Keane and Kit & The Widow.

September brings the hilarious Patrick Barlow staging of The 39 Steps to the Cramphorn between 8 and 10 September; it’s great fun as I recall. Blackeyed Theatre brings Oh! What a Lovely War to the Civic on 14 and 15 September. John Godber’s Beef, which is basically about a body-building fanatic with an enormous chip on his teenaged shoulder, is a one-man show at the Cramphorn on 4 October.

Death by Fatal Murder is the sequel to Murdered to Death by Peter Gordon. Running at the Civic from 10 to 15 October it has the hapless Inspector Pratt being “helped” in his latest murder investigation by one Miss Maple (now, who on earth does that name remind you of?). More skulduggery is afoot with the return of the Horrible Histories, this time round featuring The Awful Egyptians and The Ruthless Romans between 18 and 22 October at the Civic.

Both in its initial production and in subsequent revivals, Equus has stood the test of time. The story of a child psychiatrist trying to find out why his young patient blinded six horses is perhaps not for everybody, but it should be worth seeing in a staging by one of the most thoughtful and committed medium-size touring ensembles at the Civic from 10 to 12 November. December, of course, brings pantomime.. This year it’s The Sleeping Beauty, presented by One From the Heart in association with the Civic between 2 December and 2 January.