Three new shows – rather than the usual four – have been announced for the 2011 spring season at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch. Like other regional theatres, the Queen’s is bracing itself for the impact of the arts budget cuts (though over a thousand indignant audience members have written to the Culture Secretary in protest), but the scheduling of a trio rather than a quartet is actually due to a requirement for remedial work in the auditorium.

This takes place after the pantomime; Aladdin closes on 15 January. The first show from the residential cut to the chase… company is Pick Yourself Up by Stephen Wyatt, a musical comedy with songs by George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern. It’s a story involving glitz as well as gansters. 4-26 March are the dates.

From 8 to 30 April The Taming of the Shrew has something of a makeover. In a post-feminist age, this has become something of a problem play to stage, but here it will be transposed from 16th century England (by way of contemporary Italian city-states) to the 19th century Wild West of America.

The touring production of The Rocky Horror Show by Richard O’Brien has almost certainly been to a theatre near you after the past year. The Queen’s production between 13 May and 11 June is, however, a brand-new one. cut to the chase… always plays to its musical strengths and has a proven track record for slightly creepy as well as more straightforward work, so this should be an interesting revival.

Playgoers like a bargain in the theatre as well as in the shops. The Jump the Q booking initiative offers 40 per cent off the most expensive ticket prices if you book for all three shows in advance – £13 per show in the best seats. It’s not too early to organise your Christmas present list, and this could well be an alternative to the perhaps slightly less personalised theatre-tokens.