There are four world premières in the spring season just announced for the Palace Theatre, Watford. Three of these are direct commissions by the theatre and two of them are co-productions – one with Paines Plough and the other with Scamp.
The new season starts with Shiver, written by Daniel Kanaber and directed by Derek Bond. Kanaber is a screenwriter as well as a playwright; Bond directed Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers at the Palace in 2012. Shiver is a story about love, the family and personal identity and runs from 3 to 22 February.
Pirate Gran is based on the children's book by Geraldine Durrant. It's a magical as well as swashbuckling story which embarks on a major national tour after the Watford performances between 28 and 30 March. Scamp's previous co-productions with the Palace include Stick Man and Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales.
Mike Bartlett's An Intervention examines what might happen when you come to hate your best friend. Paines Plough will take it on tour (dates yet to be announced) after the Watford performances, which are from 16 April to 3 May.
It's followed by Fourteen", a bitter-sweet play by local dramatist Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, which is set in Watford during the election year 1983 and in the present day, 30 years later. You can follow Tina's story from her optimistic teenage to a less satisfactory maturity between 21 and 24 May.
Touring productions include Moon on a Rainbow Shawl from the Talawa Theatre Company and the National Theatre (4 to 8 March) and Denton Chikura's The Epic Adventure of Nhamo the Manyika Warrior and His Sexy Wife Chipo, which Tiata Fahodzi premiered at the Tricycle Theatre this August (29 to 3 May).
Two dance companies also take the stage. Arthur Pita's company present The Little Match Girl on 18 January, following its première at the Jerwood DanceHouse in Ipswich in December. Phoenix Dance offers its new mixed bill of three contrasted ballets on 18 March.