THE premiere of a new musical based on the Dorset-set novel Moonfleet leads the spring/summer 2018 season at Salisbury Playhouse.

Moonfleet (April 19–May 5) is set amongst the cliffs, caves and downs of 18th century Dorset and is the story of a young man’s search for adventure and fulfilment.

Based on the novel by J Meade Falkner, the musical and lyrics are written by Salisbury Playhouse artistic director Gareth Machin and the music is by Russell Hepplewhite.

Moonfleet was made into a TV adaptation in 2013 starring Ray Winstone. Moonfleet is supported by Salisbury Playhouse’s newly formed Commissioning Circle. Casting is to be announced.

Also headlining the season is a new comedy Love On the Links (May 31–June 23), adapted from the golfing stories of PG Wodehouse by Jon Glover and Edward Taylor.

Set in deepest Surrey at the Wood Hills Golf Club, the play features stories of seduction, canoodling and thwarted love.

Agatha Christie is the inspiration for Murder, Margaret and Me (February 1–24) by Philip Meeks, a co-production between Salisbury Playhouse and York Theatre Royal, telling the story of Christie’s friendship with Margaret Rutherford, the actress who played Miss Marple in a series of 1960s films.

A comedy thriller about a real life mystery, Murder, Margaret and Me unearths a shocking truth buried in Rutherford’s past.

The Playhouse’s commitment to Original Drama continues with new play Hansel (March 14–24), the winner of the 2017 Theatre Fest West writer’s prize about elderly hoarder Edith’s friendship with a teenage boy sleeping rough.

And Theatre Fest West (February 9–24) returns for a seventh year with Salisbury Playhouse again joining forces with Salisbury Arts Centre, the Pound Arts Centre, Corsham and Trowbridge Arts to celebrate theatre from across the south west.

Once againthe Playhouse will host some outstanding touring productions including the return of Cornwall-based theatre company Kneehigh with The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk. Other touring productions include Of Mice and Men, A Passage to India and The Importance of Being Earnest starring Gwen Taylor (Barbara, Duty Free).

Salisbury Playhouse artistic director Gareth Machin said: “Salisbury Playhouse is proud to champion the voice of the south west through the reanimation of existing stories from the region such as Moonfleet and the celebration of new voices such as Shiona Morton’s Hansel. This home-produced work is seen alongside some of the most diverse and talented regional theatre makers who will be visiting Salisbury throughout the season.”

Tickets can be booked by calling 01722 320333 or by visiting Tickets go on sale to members on November 11 November and to the general public on November 17.