STROUD is to host its ninth theatre festival next weekend.

The popular event returns from September 10 to 12, with 20 theatre performances across six different venues.

Amongst the shows that will be performed this year there are serious dramas, comedies, puppetry, children’s shows, new works and historical dramas. These come from a mix of local and national companies.

Local companies include the Everyman who have collaborated with the festival to create The Anthony Monologues – a series of short monologues which will be performed on the streets of Stroud on Saturday and at the new venue for this festival, St Laurence’s Church.

Also in St Laurence’s, the Cotswold Players present Well, That Was Different! - two new short surreal plays from local writer Philip Douch.

Radical Stroud - led by Stuart Butler with guest performances from Jonny Fluffypunk and John Bassett - bring the remarkable story of radical 18th century figure John Thelwall, deemed to be the most dangerous man in England.

There will be a variety of children’s shows, including leading London based puppetry company String Theatre who will stage the Insect Circus, using beautifully crafted marionettes, at the Lansdown Hall.

Jonny Fluffypunk returns with The End of the Pier Show and Genevieve Robinson will be presenting Stories of Inspirational Women - both at the Museum in the Park.

There is comedy, with Rose Wadham presenting Yoga Teacher Ate My Pet at Weven, and Spaniel in the Works new comic rant Bertie Bassett is 50 Something and Sad. Plus Our Star Theatre from Hereford, with Sherlock’s Excellent Adventure, and Box of Frogs, from Birmingham, with their own brand of improvised comedy. Stroud based comedy group Severn Wonders will return with a new sketch show Fruit Salad.

There are also works which cross the comedy/ drama line, such as Miserus from i.e. Theatre which retells Greek myths in a new and lively way, and Attention Seeker from That’s Enough Drama, which tells the story of an disillusioned joke writer.

Serious dramas include a premiere from Hexagon Theatre Company of Circus of Desertion which features a performance from Stroud poet Adam Horovitz; Cheltenham based Dramestics look at families and dementia in From Age To Age; and LouDeemy Productions return with an exploration of dissociative identity disorder, called What Myra Did.

Comedians, performers and others will showcase in a comical and silly way their favourite or most hated books in The Alt Book Club; and Ken Wood and The Mixers return with Amazing Stories of Blues and Soul.

Tickets for the festival cost £6 for each one hour show and there is the Stroudie Special which offers six shows for the price of five.

Tickets are available via: