Theatre In The Villages returns this week, featuring everything from a female-led comedy involving burglary to adult storytelling about love, lust, adultery and murder.
Across the county there are 44 shows and the first Vale performance opens on Friday in North Marston, with the comedy Ladies Of Cranford.
Other highlights include a show by internationally acclaimed story teller Cat Weatherill (pictured) who will be performing in Wendover and Winslow ‘Seductive Stories From Italy’.
Cat, whose shows include the serving of Italian wine and snacks, is described as having a ‘fiery female energy and theatrical style’ which ‘gives a gloriously feminine voice to an ancient art’.
The council-subsidised theatre scheme started in 1998. Last year Aylesbury Vale District Council spent £12,500 on its shows and got a £11,500 return.
Dan Clucas, of AVDC, said: “The idea is that once a village has been in the scheme for a few years and built up confidence and a following, it puts on the shows.”
The scheme will be running for the next two months and will see audiences of between 50 and 100 people packing out village halls across the county.
Mr Clucas said: “It’s really about community development.
“It’s talking to the villages and working with those in the villages that want to put on events and bring people together.
“These people are the local promoters. We do everything we can to help them and give them a ‘menu’ of shows that they could have.
“They choose the show that’s right for the village, sometimes after a consultation with the parish council, they then have to start promoting it in the village.”
Other performances this year expected to draw a large crowd include the Time Travelling Magicians in Princes Risborough – who fooled Penn and Teller in a 2011 TV show.
Diary Of A Nobody in is at Weedon, a play based on Victorian life. And P&O 1930 is in Stone and Cuddington, a one- man musical about the golden age of the ocean liner.
But the jewel in the crown will be The Incredible Dr Guttmann, an AVDC-commissioned play about the founder of the Paralympics.
The show will premiere at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on October 20 before travelling to places such as Stoke Mandeville Methodist Church.
Mr Clucas said: “The standard of the shows is excellent. They are all by companies that specialise in putting on quality shows in village halls. The shows are very good.
“I’m always amazed by the quality and improvisation of the shows within the limitations of places such as a village hall.”
For more details about the shows on offer and for ticket information visitwww.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk