Ali Robertson, artistic director of the Tobacco Factory in Bristol, boldly called his new season the "best yet" as he launched the autumn/winter 2013 programme in Bristol last night (30 July).

August to December will see a truly international line up with some big theatrical names thrown into the mix. The season kicks off with the Bristol Festival of Puppetry that has Bristol regulars Pickled Image, Aardman's Peter Lord and the ever popular Smoking Puppet Cabaret in amongst the international line up of DudaPaiva Company, Ulrike Quade Company and Dutch company The Lunatics, who will be taking over the Tobacco Factory Theatre's car park for three nights.

Other highlights of the season include resident dance company, the Mark Bruce Company, return with their new retelling of Dracula, Volcano Theatre Company's Alice in Wonderland, which promises to "blast apart another well-loved classic" and Pickled Image with The Shop of Little Horrors, billed as a dark and twisted show with a wicked sense of humour. It also assures us that the show contains "no carnivorous plants".

For the first time in a decade, Out of Joint will be returning to Bristol with their latest show Ciphers, about "spies, double agents and the opaqueness of the human soul".

There was also a preview of next season in the shape of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory's Andrew Hilton announcing their 2014 line up. First up is As You Like It followed by a revival of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia.

Full details of the new season can be found here.

Full details of the Bristol Festival of Puppetry can be found at www.puppetplace.org

- Shane Morgan