THE new year is kicking off in style as venues across Frome announce impressive programmes of upcoming shows and events.
The Merlin and Memorial theatres and Cheese and Grain venue are preparing for entertainment to suit all tastes. These include musical shows, dance, comedy, drama, circus and magic, tribute bands, youth theatre, rock shows, music from local performers, as well as a Burns Night celebration, a craft fair and farmers’ market.
Highlights at the Memorial include That’ll be the Day Rock & Roll show, High Jinx Circus & Magic Show, Pam Ayres, A Comedy Night Out with Frank Carson, The Searchers, Jethro, The Winner Takes It All tribute to Abba and the Bee Gees, The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Plymouth and Frome Amateur Operatic’s Society’s performance of Sweet Charity.
Events coming up at the Cheese and Grain include ‘Whole Lotta Led’, paying tribute to Led Zeppelin, a Charity Burns Night Celebration, Wishbone Ash, the return of the popular comedy nights, Main Event Wrestling, TV wildlife presenter Steve Backshall’s Wild and Live Tour, and a Rock Extravaganza with Larry Miller Band & Stray.
And at the Merlin, attractions include the innovative dance company 3 Fall Dance; the return of the ‘Masters of Comedy’ Miracle Theatre with Beauty and the Beast from Mars; a stage performance of Bonnie and Clyde; Rib Ticklers Comedy with Mark Thomas, famous for BBC’s The Mary Whitehouse Experience; as well as local favourite Tom Carpenter and friends.
Frome Memorial Theatre has a packed programme, starting with That’ll be the Day, back by overwhelming public demand this year following a sold out show last year. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll show with classic gold hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s with feel good comedy routines added in. Shows are on the 4th and 5th of February.
Saturday 19th February will see The Big Chris Barber Band, with the performance starting at 7.30pm. Chris Barber leads his 11-piece band, with its 7 strong front line, playing music from his roots in New Orleans style in ‘Bourbon Street Parade.’
High Jinx Circus & Magic Show will be performed on Tuesday the 22nd February, with performances starting at 1.00pm. Flying in Direct from DisneyLand Paris…The Dangerous, Daring and Exciting New Show for Kids!
The Winner Takes It All, on Saturday the 26th of February, will see two of the country’s greatest shows come together in one fantastic concert to pay tribute to two of history’s most iconic acts – Abba and the Bee Gees.
Frome Amateur Operatic Society’s (FAOS) spring production for 2011 will be ‘Sweet Charity’, with auditions due to take place on Sunday 30th of January.
For more details visit www.fromememorialtheatre.org.uk/whats_on.php
A busy season is also under way at The Merlin Theatre in Frome.
3 Fall Dance, presented by the University of Chichester. is in its 10th year, and has established itself as a successful and innovative dance company. This year, they have commissioned a new piece by Victoria Fox, a choreographer who has danced for the Jasmin Vardimon Company and is the co-creator of Underground 7, which will be presented on the 27th of January at 7.45pm.
In addition, the established choreographer Carrie Whita-ker, co-founder of the awe inspiring Lîla Dance, has created an energetic piece with the company.
Liz Richards, associate artist to Hampshire Dance, will be offering a light-hearted piece that focuses on the performative qualities of the individual dancers, using an array of sound scores that includes Lemon Jelly.
Selected choreographers from the dance degree at the University of Chichester will also be presenting new works for 2011.
Firm favourites with Merlin audiences, Cornwall’s ‘masters of comedy’ return following previous sell out performances of Rumpelstiltskin and Romeo and Juliet.
When super star heart-throb Bobby Beauty finds himself hotly pursued by a gorgeous alien from Mars, he’s sure his luck is in. Little does he know that he has actually been implanted with the secret rocket defence code she needs to secure her domination of planet Earth! Beauty & the Beast from Mars is showing on the 5th of February from 7.45pm.
Fairground presents Bonnie and Clyde on the 12th of February at 7.45pm. Crossing the state border in a stolen Ford V-8, with a trunk full of sawn-off shotguns and bootleg whiskey, Bonnie and Clyde have found one last place to hide. Time is ticking… they’re on the run from the law and from reality, but which one will catch them first?
Dressing up Box presented by Stage Write Café will be showing on the 17th of February from 7.30pm; From the team who brought you 7 Ages of Shoes and Lucky Dip – a new selection of short monologues by local writers to inspire and entertain you.
Big Wooden Horse Theatre presents The Way Back Home; Oliver Jeffers, award-winning author of How to Catch a Star and Lost and Found, returns with an inter-galactic tale about a little boy seeking adventure. Showing February 20th at 3.00pm.
Before the entertainment starts, there is an opportunity to have a good clear out after Christmas or perhaps discreetly give away those unwanted gifts in ‘A Good Old Fashioned Jumble Sale’ on the 22nd of January from 12noon til 4.00pm.
The stage will be full with clothes, books and bric-a- brac, with the foyer café open for refreshments.
For full details of all the Merlin Theatre’s events, visit www.merlintheatre.co.uk.
Over at Frome’s Cheese and Grain venue, there is lots of activity in preparation for a new season of entertainment and shows.
Crafts at the Cheese and Grain will be held on 22nd January 22nd, from 9.30am until 2.00pm. Over 40 stalls selling an amazing array of local British handmade, quality crafts and produce direct from skilled artists and crafts people, all under one roof.
Rock sensation’s ‘Whole Lotta Led’, who will pay tribute to Led Zeppelin by performing the Zep IV show, January 28th at 8.00pm.
A Charity Burns Night Celebration – a charity fundraiser organised by Frome’s Mayor – will be a night of dancing and entertainment from barn dance/celeidh band Hobson’s Choice, together with traditional Burns Night activities and fundraising raffle. The Burns Night celebration will be held on January 29th at 7.00pm.
In February, the Cheese and Grain will host the Comedy Club. Headlining is Craig Murray, hailing from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire and hosted by MC Joseph Wilson, award-winning host of his own show on Bristol’s ‘Hub Radio’, on 11th February at 8.00pm.
Frome Farmers’ Market will take place on 12th February, from 9.00am. Frome Farmers’ Market is recognised as one of the largest and most successful of the Somerset Farmers’ Markets and offers high quality produce and plants. Choose from organic meats, pies and pastries, delicious dairy products, juices and vegetables to name but a few.
Acoustic Plus, featuring music from local performers, will be performed on 18th February at 8.00 pm. The live music will commence at 8.30pm until around 11.00pm.
The NCT Nearly New Sale will be held on 19th February 19th, at 10.00 am. The Frome NCT’s spring sale promises to be packed with great bargains for all families with young children, with more than thirty stalls of good quality second hand toys, clothes and equipment.
Italian band The Watch have been getting rave reviews all over Europe for their original prog music BUT also for their incredible tribute shows to the brilliance of the Gabriel era Genesis! The Watch will be appearing at the Cheese and Grain on 25th February at 8.00pm.
This will be followed by Rock Extravaganza – Larry Miller Band & Stray on 26th February 26th at 8.00pm. The Larry Miller Band is the ultimate in-your-face rhythm and blues band, highly entertaining, polished and guaranteed to hit right between the eyes.
For a full run down of events at the Cheese and Grain visit; www.cheeseandgrain.co.uk.