AWARD-winning Box Tale Soup opens the new Old Laundry season autumn season this weekend with a new take on Henry James’ disturbing and chilling tale The Turn of the Screw.

Featuring puppetry and a haunting original soundtrack, the fresh adaptation was a sell out at last year's Edinburgh Fringe and is staged at the Bowness theatre on Friday, September 13 (7.30pm).

HiLo Productions' Shackleton’s Carpenter is next on in the popular season running on Wednesday, September 18 (7.30pm).

Penned by Gail Louw and performed by Malcolm Rennie, it tells of Harry McNish, who was the only man who challenged the Shackleton on the Antarctic ice floes. Shackleton’s Endurance sank in Antarctica, leaving the 28 strong crew stranded.

McNish, the brilliant carpenter and shipwright, defied Shackleton, but his skills played an absolutely vital role in saving the entire crew.

Top notch theatre continues on Friday, September 20 (7.30pm), with Interactive Theatre International's Pamela’s Palace set in the glittery underworld of combs, curlers and hormonal imbalance.

Pamela is the hard won queen of a buzzing beauty salon, but behind the glitz and the glamour, the Salon of the Year competition threatens to bring the walls of her suburban palace crumbling down. With jaw dropping dance routines and brilliant original music, the girls bring you all the drama of a Mike Leigh and the sparkle and humour of Strictly Ballroom in a whirlwind of female insecurities, shameless gossip and over-bleached highlights.

Based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, award-winning Dyad Productions stages Orlando on Saturday, September 21 (7.30pm).

Also on the Old Laundry menu for its autumn season is Eat the Film, movie screenings with a three course dinner.

The first is the classic The Blues Brothers, screen in the Old Laundry's Laundrama Studio on Saturday, September 28 (7.30pm).

Tickets include a themed three course dinner, a cocktail on arrival along with song sheets. And dancing and dark glasses are apparently permitted.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s West End and Broadway hit Tell Me on a Sunday promises to be one of the Old Laundry season's highlights, running from October 4 until October 26 (some matinees 2.30pm and 4pm).

The show charts the romantic misadventures of a young English girl in New York in the heady days of the 1980s. Brimming with optimism, she seeks success and love but as she weaves her way through the maze of the city and her own anxieties and heartaches she begins to wonder whether she’s been looking for love in all the wrong places. The iconic musical, with a wonderful original score, features the chart topping Take That Look Off Your Face and title track Tell Me on A Sunday - all directed by David Gilmore, who has directed 17 West End productions; his production of Grease recently completed an almost unbroken run of 20 years, touring globally.

Come November, and the genius of Alan Ayckbourn returns to the Bowness stage.

Stephen Joseph Theatre presents the noble knight of playwright's Season’s Greetings, a sparkling new production of his classic comedy, running from Monday-Saturday, November 4-9. Plus, from Wednesday-Saturday, November 13-16, Stephen Joseph Theatre and Sir Alan are back in the spotlight with Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present.

It’s Mickey’s 80th birthday and he and his wife Meg are awaiting the arrival of their son, Adrian, and his new - and latest - fiancée, Grace. Adrian has, according to his parents, a certain reputation regarding women and they feel meek, mild-mannered Grace should surely be warned of this. But are things really as they appear?

As clever in its construction as any of his previous plays, Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present is the 83rd play from the pen of one of Britain’s greatest playwrights, who not only celebrates his own 80th birthday this year, but also marks the 60th anniversary of his playwriting debut - The Square Cat, his first professionally produced play, which opened at Scarborough’s Library Theatre on July 30, 1959.

A new original comedy, Car Park King, about the life of King Richard III by Jessica McDonagh, features on Friday, November 22.

Also, there's music to come in the Old Laundry season courtesy of legendary 1970s folk-rock outfit Lindisfarne (November 30, and already sold out) as well as fiery highland five-piece, Elephant Sessions, who fuse rich folk and traditional influences with funk, rock, and electronica. In just a few short years Elephant Sessions have already become renowned for breathtaking live shows throughout the UK and Europe, taking the festival scene well and truly by storm. They play the Bowness venue on Thursday, December 12.

As for the glittering December shows, The Muppet Christmas Carol promises to get all into the festive spirit on Saturday and Sunday, December 7/8, with a screening of the classic Dickens tale and magical muppet moments from Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Michael Caine) and other star turns from Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Fozzie Bear.

For tickets are full details of the Old Laundry season telephone the box office on 015394-40872 or book online