The Christmas break is behind us and a whole new year of fixtures is stretching out in front of talented teams in North Herts – but we’re not talking about sport, this is music and drama.

In Stevenage the Players who are limbering up for 2016 are based at the Lytton Theatre in Vardon Road, not the Lamex Stadium home of Teddy Sheringham’s team.

Their first show of the year comes up at the end of the month, when Dave Slade takes on directing duties and Derek Blyth is in charge of the music for Lights Up, billed as an evening of music, dance, comedy and variety in a cabaret setting.

The curtain goes up on Wednesday, January 27, and there will be performances until Saturday, January 30.

The Wednesday opener is a preview night but for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening performances the ticket price includes a light supper, with tea and biscuits served during the Saturday matinee.

Also coming up are a youth theatre production of computer musical Hackback in March, with Sophie Ashby – who featured in the cast the last time the show was staged in 2003 – stepping up as director, an April production of classic comedy thriller The Ghost Train and frothy and feelgood musical Salad Days in May.

Visit for more details or call 01438 357407.

Over in Hitchin, the Bancroft Players are gearing up for their first show, which opens on Wednesday, January 20.

The New Electric Ballroom by Irish writer Enda Walsh, which will run until Saturday, January 23, is directed by Charles Compton and is described in insiders as “a fascinating fusion, as if someone had got the draft pages of Groundhog Day and Chekhov’s Three Sisters mixed up.”

Coming hot on the heels of that show is a Bancroft Juniors production, Let’s Twist Again.

The 1960s-set musical directed by Alison Hudson and Linda Stephenson is described as the most exciting project the juniors have tackled to date, and opens on Wednesday, February 10, for a three-day run.

And at the end of February the Players will be presenting their own take on TV comedy favourite The Vicar of Dibley.

You can find out full details and discover what else is in store for 2016 at