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New Lights Shine on Dark Passions at the Merlin

January is proving a busy month at the Merlin. 

The box office is humming and work on the technical upgrade is well underway – made possible by a successful Arts Council bid, a very welcome grant from Bath’s Theatre Royal and the generosity of all those who supported the theatre’s Lights Up campaign.

The work has meant no live shows on stage this month, but the wait is well worthwhile as the theatre has a fantastic line up in February and we’re thrilled that the first production to benefit from the new installations will be  from the Mark Bruce Company.

Their darkly dramatic dance theatre retelling of Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ premieres at the Merlin on Thursday 4th February, with performances also on the 5th and 6th, before beginning a three month tour.

Mark Bruce is an associate artist of the Merlin Theatre and audiences who remember the company’s thrilling version of ‘Dracula’ won’t want to miss this new production.

Set to music ranging from Mozart to Mark Lanegan; Sacred Arias to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and an originally composed score; this Odyssey is of now. Contemporary horror and fantasy splinters from ancient myth and the themes are universal: how we face our mortality and the driving force of the gods inside us.”

Tickets are £16 adults, £10.50 concessions, and the show is recommended for age 14+.

On Thursday 11th and Friday 12th February, Merlin Theatre Company present ‘The Last Five Years’ by Jason Robert Brown, a modern musical which ingeniously chronicles the five-year life of a marriage, from meeting to break-up and from break-up to meeting.

This production takes place in a our new studio theatre, through kind permission of Frome College – a new venture which offers an intimate setting more suited to some productions. All tickets £10.50; recommended age 13+.

A glorious Shakespeare comedy comes to the Merlin from National Theatre Live on Thursday 25th February, when Rosalie Craig stars as Rosalind in ‘As You Like It’, famous for love, cross-dressing and a certain ‘All the world’s a stage’ speech. Tickets £16 and £10.50; Cert 12A.

Steampunk enthusiasts should book a ticket for ‘HypnoArts The Marvellous Mechanical Mesmerist’ on Friday 26th February, a show which combines the art of steampunk stage hypnotism with comedy theatre, mesmeric magic and mentalism, and  even a spirit cabinet seance to bring you fast, funny, fantastical empowering entertainment.

Tickets £12.50 and £10.50; recommended 12+.

More drama, dance, poetry and screenings follow in March and April – look out for the Merlin Theatre Company’s take on ‘The Producers’ in March! Further details of all productions at www.merlin theatre.co.uk or call 01373 465949.

Brenda Bannister

 

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