Manchester's Library Theatre's eclectic autumn/winter season will feature two Edinburgh Fringe hits, revivals of Olivier Award winners Vincent in Brixton and The Real Thing and a verbatim piece about Harold Shipman.

The season's first two offerings are direct from this month’s Edinburgh Fringe festival. The first, The Ballad of Johnny 5 Star, runs from 31 August to 4 September 2004. Written by American playwrights David Hauptschein and David Vlcek, this visceral drama is produced by Secret Life Theater and directed by Julio Maria Martino.

The second Fringe transfer comes in the shape of local actor/writer Rani Moorthy's one-man show, Curry Tales. Continuing the recent trend in culinary theatre, Moorthy cooks up Indian delights in this interactive show from 7 to 11 September 2004.

Later next month, the Library Theatre Company mounts its own new production of Vincent in Brixton from 17 September to 16 October 2004. A fictitious love story based on the true facts of painter Vincent Van Gogh's early life in London in the 19th century, Nicholas Wright’s multi award-winning play had its world premiere at the National Theatre in May 2002, prior to West End and Broadway transfers. The new Library production is directed by associate director Roger Haines.

Beyond Belief - Scenes from the Shipman Inquiry follows from 22 October to 20 November 2004, directed by artistic director Chris Honer. In this piece of documentary theatre, local writer Dennis Woolf has edited the transcripts of Dame Janet Smith's Inquiry into Dr Harold Shipman, the most prolific serial killer in British criminal history. The result is a piece that examines how Shipman got away with so much for so long.

For a Christmas season, from 27 November 2004 to 22 January 2005, Haines directs the European premiere of Charles Way’s Merlin and the Cave of Dreams. And, in the new year, running from 11 February to 12 March 2005, Honer directs the Library’s revival of The Real Thing, Tom Stoppard's 1982 comedy about love, marriage and adultery.

Elsewhere in the season, visiting productions include Out of Joint’s Macbeth and Jamaican company Jambiz International’s pantomime Cindy Relisha and the DJ Prince.

- by Hannah Kennedy