A ZOMBIE apocalypse, dragon sized grumpiness, space and rail travel, and more - it can only mean one thing, the return of Stroud Theatre Festival!

The popular event is back this week, for its eighth outing.

Starting on Friday, and running until Sunday, October 4, 40 theatre companies will be performing their shows in and around town.

Quirky, witty, sad, strange, hilarious and contemplative, there's shows that will make you laugh, shows that will make you cry and shows that will make you think.

Due to the Covid situation, shows will be taking place outside, inside and online. The event is being run by Spaniel in the Works Theatre Company from Stroud, in conjunction with staff at the venues.

One of the troupes taking part is The Cotswold Players, with six brand new monologues entitled Isolated But Open.

Cotswold Players’ director Tim Howard said: “We hope that the people of Stroud will welcome the return of live theatre to Stroud by attending the excellent range of festival events.

“This year has been challenging to all sectors in our society but the performing arts have been hit especially hard, as they rely so heavily on entertaining large groups of people in indoor spaces.

“It is a credit to festival organiser John Bassett and his team that this year’s festival is going ahead in Covid-safe environments throughout the town.”

As well as live and online performances, there will be film screenings and workshops too.

All information about these events can be found at stroudtheatrefestival.co.uk and tickets are available from The Everyman Box Office on 01242 572 573.

They are priced at £6 each for live events and a ‘Stroudie Special’ ticket gives you six shows for the price of five.

Tickets have to be purchased in advance as current restrictions do not allow for sales on the door.