New season: Angles Theatre

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor The 210-year-old Georgian building which is the Angles Centre in Wisbech might not be one of the region's largest venues – but it more than makes up for it with an enterprising approach to programming and a solid community support.

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor

The 210-year-old Georgian building which is the Angles Centre in Wisbech might not be one of the region's largest venues – but it more than makes up for it with an enterprising approach to programming and a solid community support.

As well as home-grown productions the Alexandra Road venue will be playing host to two of the funniest acts around – award-winning stand-up Linda Smith and “punk poet” John Cooper Clarke.

Musical tributes to the likes of Abba and Buddy Holly, touring theatre, two Christmas shows and other attractions are also taking place in a packed autumn line-up.

Tribute act Abba Chic will be re-creating the hits of the Swedish superstars to get the new season off to a rousing start on September 17 and 18 (7.30pm, £10, concs £8).

John Wackett gives an insight into 40 years in theatre and education with Just a Few Bits and Pieces on September 19, that promise to be a saucy entertainment unsuitable for those with a nervous disposition! (£6, £5).

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Local theatre group WAODS present musical fun from September 28 to October 2 everyone's favourite boy-meets-girl, plant-eats-world phenomenon, Little Shop of Horrors (£10, £8).

John Cooper Clarke is making a rare appearance in the region with an appearance at the Angles on October 7. The “punk poet” came to prominence with the explosion of musical talent in the new wave era of the late Seventies, and is a genuine one-off. His shows blend stand-up and poetry for an edgy and hilarious evening. (£10, £8)

Peddars Way – A Songline for East Anglia explores the ancient path through East Anglia in story and song on October 8 (£6, £5), while on October 10 ZUM3 bring their irresistible blend of Argentinean tango and eastern European gipsy fiddle music. With numerous sell-out concerts and critical acclaim galore, this is going to be one of the hottest tickets of the autumn at the venue (£12, £10).

The long history of theatre in Wisbech will be given in a special lecture by Peter Clayton (October 12, £6, £5), while the following day cabaret dance comes to the venue for the first time in the show Twentieth Century Girls. It's presented by The Kosh, fresh from winning a 'pick of the fringe' award at the Edinburgh Festival. They trace a haunting reflection of the last century to present times in a show described as “shimmering, sensational” by the Stage (£6.50, £5).

Comedy meets light opera on October 15 when Lantern Theatre company set out to distil 14 comic operas into one evening with The Complete Works of Gilbert & Sullivan (Pruned!). Tickets are £10 (concs £8). And Adrian Bell and Ivan Garford present popular stage tunes in Songs that I Heard on October 22 (£10).

She was voted Britain's Wittiest Person by radio listeners a couple of years ago and her offbeat observations on life have delighted audiences up and down the county, as well as hundreds of thousands of radio listeners on The News Quiz and other shows. She is, of course, Linda Smith and she will be bringing her latest show to the Angles on October 28 (£15).

There's more music on October 29-30 with Fens close harmony ensemble Reprise in concert (£8) and folk outfit the Cambridgeshire Crofters on November 7 (£8, £7).

In between these dates, Red Shift Theatre Company will be appearing on November 3 with a stage adaptation of one of the best-loved British films ever – Graham Greene's tale of post-war intrigue, The Third Man (£12, £10).

Home-grown entertainment next with In Performance (November 12-13) presented by the Nine Lives Theatre Company (£6.50, £5) while from November 17-27 (not Sunday), Wisbech Players (now in their 40th year) present that brilliant anti-war satirical review Oh What a Lovely War! (£9.50, £8).

There's more touring drama on December 1 with York Theatre Royal's production of a new play by Steve Trafford. A Cloud in Trousers is billed as a tragic comedy about sex, poetry, politics and love in the time of the Russian revolution (£8, £7).

Buddy Walker presents his tribute to Buddy Holly with two shows (December 3-4, £10, £8), while the theatre's own company presents its version of Alice in Wonderland as an early season treat on December 10-11 and 13-18 (£10, £8).

The season rounds off in suitably festive style with the WAODS panto. Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood starts its run on December 28 with family fun guaranteed for all.

Box office: 01945 474447 or email anglesboxoffice@aol.com