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Double Bill of brightness to start the year

FROME audiences can wave away post-Christmas blues and January greys as 2022 opens at the Merlin Theatre with a riot of lively performance and acts of hope and joy brought together in a special double-bill, with two professional shows for the price of one.  

An energetic programme of family-friendly entertainment, brimming with life, is brought to town in ‘Double Bill’ on Saturday 15th January. Opening the evening will be aKa Dance Theatre Company with the fun and funk-filled ‘A Real Fiction’ followed by innovative, witty Kerchief Theatre’s performance of ‘Boxes’. 

Both companies, who tour nationally, are based in Somerset and are proudly supported by, and born out of, established venues and organisations, The Merlin Theatre, The Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre and Take Art.   

Setting the bar very high with inspiring, skilful movement and engaging story-telling, these two remarkable, young companies exemplify what can be achieved when those with talent and determination decide to make their own work, even in the face of arts funding cuts and a pandemic.  

Kerchief’s ‘Boxes’ is a dynamic piece of theatre about the need for, and value of, hope. Two actors use storytelling, TikTok dances, sea shanties and, literally, cardboard boxes to build a world on stage that is sometimes silly, sometimes serious, always charming and definitely appealing to all age groups.   

Written by its actors, Madeleine Herbert and Esmé Patey-Ford, some young Frome people will recognise Maddy from her other role, as one of The Merlin’s drama teachers, and many will remember her from her pre-professional days when she took the lead in such delights as Peter Pan. 

Co-founded by Jen Grant and Joe Garbett, aKa Dance Theatre is a Somerset based dance company fiercely invested in ensuring that the arts are accessible to all and they love nothing more than bringing communities together.   

‘A Real Fiction’ was inspired by stories and memories told directly by the community, woven together and shaken up to co-create a dance theatre work that is brilliantly bonkers, full of fun and provides that moment of release that we all need now more than ever.   

Expect the unexpected in a hyperactive mix of dance, theatre, meme and pop culture and, possibly, a foam banana or two. 

The Merlin Theatre is excited to be bringing aKa Dance Theatre’s  ‘A Real Fiction’ to Frome alongside their good friends Kerchief Theatre’s ‘Boxes’ and invite you to join in this, sometimes irreverent, upbeat and hopeful start to the year. 

‘Double Bill’ will be performed at The Merlin Theatre on Saturday 15th January at 7.30pm.  

Full details for booking and current rulings for Covid-safety best practice can be found at www.merlintheatre.co.uk 

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