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Live screenings at the Merlin

Frome Festival may be over for another year, but there is still thought-provoking entertainment to look forward to at the Merlin in the second half of July.

Two live screenings, one from the National Theatre and one from the RSC, bring the best of classic drama to the town.

On Thursday 16th July at 7.00pm, Chiwetel Ejiofor (BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee for ‘12 Years a Slave’) stars in a new production of ‘Everyman’, one of English drama’s oldest plays and one of the great primal, spiritual myths, newly adapted by poet Carol Ann Duffy.

Everyman is successful, popular and riding high when Death comes calling. He is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a last, frantic search to recruit a friend, anyone, to speak in his defence. But Death is close behind, and time is running out…

On Wednesday 22nd July, there is a screening of the RSC’s production of ‘The Merchant of Venice’, Shakespeare’s troubling study of profit, trade and racial tensions in Renaissance Venice. Makram J. Khoury, one of the most celebrated actors in Israel, features in his RSC debut as Shylock.

The cast also includes Patsy Ferran as Portia, also making her RSC debut following her recent role as Jim in ‘Treasure Island’ at the National Theatre, and Jamie Ballard as Antonio. Tickets for both live screenings are £15 (£10 concessions).

Other productions include the Merlin Theatre Company’s 40th birthday celebration on Saturday 18th July with a production of the rock musical ‘Rent’, when more than 30 local performers led by Claudia Pepler and Ryan Hughes attempt to put on this major production in 24 hours.

On Friday 24th July, Green Eyed Zero present A show about Choice, while on Sunday 26th Illyria bring their production of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ to the Merlin’s ECOS amphitheatre. Details of all shows at www.merlintheatre.co.uk.