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Chelmsford Theatre what’s on Autumn 2023

Chelmsford Theatre’s Autumn brochure has landed, containing a huge array of shows to keep the city entertained as the nights draw in.  

Covering September to December, it hits all bases from comedy to family shows, with music and dance in between. Of course, not forgetting the most wonderful time of the year – the theatre welcomes several Christmas shows this year, including the return of the much-loved annual panto.  

Theatre Director, Lee Henderson, says the Autumn 2023 programme is bigger than ever before, with some very well-known faces also popping up this season:  

“Chelmsford Theatre continues to pull in some brilliant shows and big names in 2023. We’re excited to welcome some familiar faces, from our favourite lexicographer, Susie Dent, to outstanding comic Romesh Ranganathan, and borderline national trinket Reverend Richard Coles.

Our latest brochure continues to reflect the theatre’s growing programming and promising future. No matter your age or taste, there’s something for everyone in Chelmsford to get excited about this season.”

Lee Henderson, Theatre Director

Bringing big comedy names to Chelmsford 

Chelmsford Theatre is thrilled to be welcoming several well-known faces from the UK comedy scene this season. Expect hysterical stories from ‘Punchline King’ (the Guardian) Andy Parsons, and from sweet sweet soul Tom Davis. The exceptionally angry Romesh Ranganathan also tries out some new material in October ahead of his new show (sold out). 

There’s painfully funny honesty from award-winning comedian, Bridget Christie, with her laugh-a-minute rant on living with the menopause. Angela Barnes: Hot Mess brings a similarly straight-talking tone with stories of trying (and struggling) to live her best life. 

Sophie McCartney ventures into the perilous world of parenthood in her show ‘Tired and Tested (sold out). The Scummy Mummies will also be swinging by to make you feel normal about your parenting skills, or smug about being child-free.  

Scummy Mummys

And that’s not even all the comedy on offer – check out the new brochure for more stand-up shows this season. 

Outstanding shows celebrating some of the world’s greatest music artists 

In the way of music, there are some outstanding tribute shows coming to the theatre this Autumn. In September, Whitney: Queen of the Night (sold out) celebrates the life and music of one of the greatest singers of our time. Malcolm Pitt also delivers a breathtaking tribute to the music of Lionel Ritchie and the Commodores. 

In October, one of the world’s most authentic tributes to Queen – Mercury – brings the band’s most popular hits to Chelmsford.

Fans of Kate Bush can howl with the Hounds of Love and dance on the moors with Wuthering Heights in An Evening Without Kate Bush on 14 November. Though she won’t be there, the show pays glorious homage to one of the most influential voices in British music. 

More brilliant music shows this season include Spandau Too, Think Floyd, Legend: The Music of Bob Marley and Frank Sinatra: His Way. Browse them all on the Chelmsford Theatre website

The Magic of Dance with Ian Waite and Vincent Simone 

Fans of the ever-popular Strictly Come Dancing can join dance legends Ian Waite and Vincent Simone for an unforgettable evening of sizzling Sambas and passionate Argentine Tangos.  

Tap Dancers

Coming to Chelmsford Theatre in September, the show is born out of the special chemistry of Ian and Vincent’s many years of friendship, dancing adventures and love of performing. It features special guest vocals from Britain’s Got Talent winner Jai McDowell. 

There’s even the opportunity to enhance the experience by booking the meet and greet before the show at 6pm. There, you can meet Ian, Vincent and Jai, take photos with them and get their autographs. 



For those who love a bit of audience participation, the cult hit event Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote comes to the Studio this November. The interactive screening of a classic Murder She Wrote episode requires you to solve the crime.  

Audiences are treated to a unique and hilarious night of games, quizzes, and prizes as they race to solve the crime using the aptly named Fameometer and Suspiciometer.  

The show was rated one of 2019’s ‘50 Great Nights Out’ in London by Time Out magazine. Be quick to secure tickets – Friday 3 November is now sold out, with limited tickets remaining for Thursday 2 November. 

Festive entertainment for all ages 

It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas and Chelmsford Theatre has festive entertainment covered. 

The theatre’s biggest show in the calendar, the beloved annual panto, returns this year with Jack and the Beanstalk. In association with One From The Heart, the firm favourite promises to enthral and excite audiences of all ages. Expect hilarious jokes, glitzy costumes and fantastic dance routines as Jack discovers a handful of magic beans, climbs a larger-than-life beanstalk, and outwits a ferocious giant! The show kicks off at Chelmsford Theatre on 1 December and runs until 7 January. Signed, captioned and relaxed performances are available on various dates, check the website for more details.

Jack And The Beanstalk

For fans of the traditional Dickensian Christmas, a one-man performance by West End and television actor John Elnaugh brings A Christmas Carol to the stage. The great novelist’s phenomenally popular story remains as powerful and relevant today as when it was first published in 1843. 

Little ones will adore the brand-new production of The Night Before Christmas, perfect for 3 to 8-year-olds. The endearing story shares the magical experiences of Woody and Milly when they go to sleep on Christmas Eve. Featuring plenty of audience interaction, classic Christmas songs and even the enchanting presence of Santa Claus himself on stage. Kids can even meet Santa after the show! 

Popular family shows 

There’s even more for families to enjoy in the run up to Christmas.  

Young history buffs can enjoy learning about the past with the nasty bits left in as the hit West End Show, Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain, comes to Chelmsford Theatre. The brand-new production brings to life even more crazy characters and rude rulers. From William the Conqueror to Queen Victoria, Horrible Histories will give Chelmsford’s families a barmy tour of Britain’s past this September.  

Fireman Sam Live brings Pontypandy to Chelmsford on 23 October. In an action-packed adventure, Norman Price becomes the star of a visiting circus. But the delights of the circus soon turn to danger when a tiger escapes. Find out if Fireman Sam saves the day in this all-singing, all-dancing show featuring your favourite characters: Sam, Penny, Elvis, Station Officer Steele and Norman. 

Unlock priority booking on future shows with Chelmsford Theatre membership 

With some of this season’s shows already sold out, it’s a good time to consider Chelmsford Theatre membership. With membership, you can be among the first to get your hands on tickets to some of the theatre’s most popular and fast-selling shows. You can enjoy a great range of benefits, including priority booking and waived fees. So, why not join this growing community of theatre enthusiasts from just £35 per year?  

To find out what else is coming to Chelmsford Theatre this Autumn, check out the new brochure and sign up to their newsletters to receive new on sale alerts. 

Chelmsford Theatre Membership
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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.