The Civic Theatre in Chelmsford (as well as its studio the Cramphorn) prides itself on providing a good mixture of productions, as befits the county town for Essex. London Classic Theatre’s staging of Pinter’s The Caretaker is in the main house on 28 and 29 September with the new touring production of a brand-new Inspector Morse story House of Ghosts occupying the stage for the week beginning 11 October.

Mark Little is Defending the Caveman on 29 and 30 October. November’s major drama comes from Rumpus Theatre and it’s a contemporary thriller by John Goodrum based on an Arthur Conan Doyle story. The Nightmare Roomstars Zoie Kennedy and Blue Merrick will chill you if you dare to venture out after dark on 2 and 3 November.

One-nighters include Girls Night by Louise Roche (18 September in the Civic). The Vagina Monologues (7 October in the Civic) and Eastern Angles’ production of Palm Wine and Stout (8 October in the Cramphorn). The Missionary’s Position from Penny Dreadful Productions (on 21 October), a new comedy called Thick as Thieves (29 October) and Mike Maran’s adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol> (19 December) are all in the Cramphorn.

Musical events to notice are Tell Me on a Sunday, the definitive version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s musical with Claire Sweney and the Opera della Luna production of HMS Pinafore on the following night. And, of course, there’s the annual spectacular pantomime which runs from 3 December until 2 January. This year it’s Aladdin, a co-production between the Civic and One from the Heart.

The dedicated children’s programme is also of interest. Blunderbus use music and puppets to tell the tale of The Dragon’s Daughter on 25 September, puppets also help to flesh out Malina’s Dream on 11 November and five new fairy stories, created by primary schoolchildren and adapted by professional storytellers, make up A Little Bird Told Me on 22 January (all in the Cramphorn). Main house children’s shows are Room on the Broom from the creators of The Gruffalo (18 to 20 October) and Horrible Science from the Horrible Histories team (9 to 13 November).