Posted: 20.11.19 at 16:16 by LostWithoutTrace for Merlin Theatre
Forty performers in Frome, both young and old, are warming up their autumn evenings by rehearsing for this year’s Merlin Christmas show, the story of Cinderella.
Inspired by the traditional Grimm brothers’ tale of Ashputtle, the girl who slept among the ashes, this is a new re-working of a well-loved festive story.
A wealth of original music and lyrics, written and directed by Joseph Church, enhance the romance, joy, drama and humour as the theatre welcomes local audiences for a 10-show run, starting on December 5.
Families with additional needs will be pleased to know that there will be a special relaxed performance on Sunday December 8.
In a continued aim to encourage all local people to enjoy the Merlin as an inclusive community venue.
The relaxed show is offered with adjusted sound levels and lighting, and an all-company awareness of the need for some audience members to enter and leave the auditorium at will, or be able to express themselves vocally, during the show; the theatre aspires to encourage everyone to enjoy this musical theatre treat.
“For some, coming to the theatre can seem intimidating – or simply a new experience for the very young,” said director, Claudia Pepler.
“So, while everyone is welcome to every performance, it is now our practice whenever possible to offer a show when people can feel free to move in and out of the room without being self-conscious about maybe disturbing others, so we do hope everyone will feel welcome.”
Both adults and children alike will be delighted to know that familiar favourites, such as a wicked stepmother, ugly sisters and a prince, and of course a magnificent ball at the palace, are all still included in a modern day story of Ella’s quest to save her precious woodland along with the animals and birds who call it home.
The production is packed with local actors. Frome has a wealth of talent and the Christmas show traditionally brings together actors from the many thespian clubs and groups in the area.
In addition, this year’s show features a number of locally-trained dancers and two teams of child-dancers, some as young as just six years old, who are students of the Tri.Art Theatre and Dance Academy who are being put through their paces by choreographer, Abi Holmes.
Abi, whose busy day job sees her looking after clients in the luxury end of the motor industry, said: “It is a joy to work on a Christmas show.
"It makes for a very packed schedule along with full-time work but everyone is in such good spirits at this time of year that it’s never a chore.
"I’d recommend anyone who has an urge to get on stage to have a go next time they see a local opportunity.
"The girls and boys who have dance lessons locally are particularly impressive but we have adults in the cast who have never danced and think they have two left feet. It’s not true though as everyone can do a bit of dance given the right encouragement.”
In one final treat for those who have enjoyed an annual Merlin Christmas show before, the theatre is delighted to announce that the much-loved wood pigeons, first encountered in 2017, will be back.
Will and Jake, who are no ordinary birds, will be flying in to disrupt the story and keep things light in their unique, entertaining and much-loved way.
Anyone who is a regular to the Merlin will be delighted to enjoy the hilarious strutting and cooing of these cute cockney rebel pigeons as they visit again to the delight of even the youngest audience member - anyone new to the theatre is in for a treat.
Cinderella’ runs from December 5 to 14 at the Merlin Theatre, Frome.
Times and prices vary: click on the red button below for full details/tickets, or phone 01373 465949.