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Top comedians announced for Frome Festival

Paul Merton.

Paul Merton.

THE stage is set for this year’s Frome Festival, with a star-studded line-up just announced including top comedians Paul Merton, Seann Walsh, Jeremy Hardy and Paul Chowdhry.

Festival organisers say they are delighted to welcome the top notch funny men, ‘straight off the telly and on to a stage near you!’

An exciting range of other events which will appeal to the whole family has also been planned with top bands The Levellers and Inspiral Carpets also performing.

And there is also a world record attempt with plans to get Frome into the Guinness Book of Records for the greatest number of people dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz.

In total, close to 200 performances of all kinds will take place throughout the festival including an operatic performance of Hansel and Gretal at Cooper Hall and literature from ex-Poet Laureate Andrew Motion at the Merlin.

The festival takes place between Friday 4th July and Sunday 13th July with it culminating in the Guinness World Record attempt on Sunday 13th July when the town will come together to try and beat the world record for the greatest number of people dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz.

The current record stands at 446 and everyone is urged to sign up for the record attempt at

Led by the Frome Times, Kumon Frome Study Centre and Absolutely Fabulous Costume Hire, the event promises to create another spectacular event for Frome.

It is hoped as many schools, groups, and individuals as possible will join forces to break the world record and provide a spectacular day for Frome.

Martyn Payne of the Frome Times said, “The Wizard of Oz has always captured the imagination of children and adults alike and we invite everyone to get involved. Dress up as your favourite character, and come and join the fun on Sunday 13th July!”

Susan Gatward of the Frome Kumon Learning Centre said, “We want children to develop a life-long love of reading – and this will be an event to raise awareness of reading in a really exciting way.

“The Wizard of Oz is one of those stories everyone knows and it appeals to all ages. Parents read it with their children, and it can help everyone come together as a family. Everyone will have something they love about it – it’s not just for little ones, it’s for children, teenagers, grandparents – everyone!”

Philippa Kaye of Absolutely Fabulous Costume Hire said, “Any characters from the Wizard of Oz are welcome to join us; but remember they must be instantly recognisable to qualify for the record!

“Think how exciting it will be to have hundreds of Dorothies and scarecrows and lions all in Frome! But you can use your imagination and choose any of the characters – maybe you fancy being a munchkin, winged monkey, carriage driver, or a wicked witch?

“I’ve compiled a list of the most famous characters with photos that can be seen on the website and a description of the costumes they wore to help you choose. Some may be a challenge! You can always call into the shop for more help and to look at the accessories we stock. I’ve got lots of ideas to inspire you!”

With registration costing just £1, the event hopes to raise hundreds of pounds to buy books for local schools as well.

It will also be a day to embrace the classic 1939 film, with the Westway Cinema screening the film in the afternoon, and other events centred around the story.

Full details, movie clips, information, and the opportunity to register, can all be found on the website at Registration forms can also be picked up from Absolutely Fabulous Costume Hire at 20 Bath Street or the Kumon Frome Study Centre at 4 Palmer Street. Alternatively send a stamped address envelope to World Record c/o Frome Times, 31 Market Place, Melksham, Wiltshire. SN12 6ES