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Lighting up the winter months at the Merlin

Following the Merlin’s pre-Christmas production of Hansel and Gretel, the theatre is taking a short break before beginning 2018 with a filmed theatre screening of the National Theatre’s production of Young Marx on Friday 12th January.

This new comedy by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman stars Rory Kinnear as Marx and Oliver Chris as Engels, and is directed by Nicholas Hytner and captured at the Bridge Theatre London (Cert 15).

Young Marx is closely followed by a screening of Verdi’s Rigoletto, direct from the Royal Opera House on Tuesday Jan 16th, conducted by Alexander Joel and featuring Dimitri Platanias, Lucy Crowe and Michael Fabiano. Two weeks later, on Jan 29th, opera returns transatlantic style, when the theatre screens the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Puccini’s Tosca, direct from the New York Met.

The arrival of the multi-award winning Mark Bruce Theatre Company with a new dance adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the end of January is already arousing excited anticipation. especially among those who saw their Dracula and Odyssey. Best of all, Frome gets to see it first — the three shows at the Merlin on Jan 25th, 26th and 27th, open the company’s spring tour.

Twelfth Night — traditionally marking the end of Christmas — will  be long past by February, but Shakespeare’s bitter-sweet comedy of the same name can be enjoyed at any season. The Merlin’s live screening of the RSC production falls on February 14th, Valentine’s Day –  particularly appropriate for this tale of mistaken identity, cross-dressing and unrequited love. Set and costumed in late Victorian England, this production features Ade Edmondson as Malvolio, Kara Tointon as Olivia and Dinita Gohil as Viola. Forget the overcrowded restaurant and celebrate love in all its variety at the Merlin!

Later in the month, community initiative Project Play joins with the Merlin Theatre Company to produce The Vicar of Dibley, a stage adaptation  with all the humour and iconic characters of the television series original. With a choice of five performances – 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th Feb – there’s no excuse to miss this one!

February is rounded off by with a screening from the Royal Opera House of the Royal Ballet production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale — adapted  by Christopher Wheeldon, The Winter’s Tale received ecstatic praise at its premiere and is widely judged a modern ballet classic. (Feb 28th)

The new season’s brochure will be landing on doormats soon with full details of these and other shows up until April. Please also see the website www.merlintheatre.co.uk.

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