New Merlin season puts audiences in the spotlight
This Autumn season sees the start of an exciting time for the Merlin Theatre in Frome.
Thanks to funding from the Arts Council, the Merlin has been granted the opportunity to carry out a period of audience development work.
This aims to make quality theatre accessible to all, helping to keep the Merlin at the heart of the Frome community.
Audiences are encouraged to have their say in an exciting season packed with theatre, dance and more alongside community performances.
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During the current season, which runs until December, this development work will be focused on three major projects.
Two shows have been branded as "What Did You Think?" performances, inviting audience feedback through instant reaction platforms.
Audiences can also have their say by becoming a Merlin Theatre reviewer.
The third project, "Merlin in Mendip", creates mini tours for companies to perform in local, rural areas.
Through What Did You Think? the Merlin invites audiences to a series of accessibly priced performances.
Focus groups, comments boards, post-show discussion, surveys and social media engagement will be encouraged around these shows, giving the audience instant feedback opportunities
Theatre director, Claudia Pepler, said: "Come along to something that appeals and let us know if it reaches your expectations – or went beyond!
"Surprise yourself and buy a ticket for something that maybe you wouldn't normally see then let us know if it was worth the risk."
At just £5 a ticket this opportunity to engage with exciting performances is not to be missed. Catch award-winning theatre maker Daniel Bye performing the "comic, provocative" The Price of Everything tomorrow.
Later in the season, Little Solider Productions present a touching, witty exploration of old age in You & Me, Saturday, November 2.
This show is also supported by the Merlin in Mendip scheme.
Both What Did You Think? performances offer post-show supper options and promise an evening of excellent entertainment, with opportunities to engage with the shows and their performers.
As well as these general instant reaction opportunities, the Merlin is offering free tickets to Merlin Theatre reviewers (subject to availability).
This applies to any performance and is open to all ages, whether you're writing just for fun or to help build your portfolio.
The Merlin hopes to work with local schools to get aspiring young critics involved and invite reviewers from the experienced and amateur alike.
Reviews will be shared through the Merlin Theatre website, school newsletters and the Your Time section of the Somerset Standard and Guardian.
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The Merlin is also working with Take Art to launch the exciting new collaboration Merlin in Mendip, aimed at getting top quality theatre experiences off the stage and out into local Mendip communities.
Take Art rural touring director, Sarah Peterkin, said: "We want our rural touring audiences to witness extraordinary shows on their doorsteps, reminding them why live theatre is worth watching and why local theatres are worth saving."
A number of other plans and projects are in place to reward audience loyalty and build on the Merlin's loyal community audience.
Proving itself fighting fit through difficult financial times, the Merlin Theatre offers opportunities to experience fantastic performance to Frome and beyond.
For further information visit www.merlintheatre.co.uk.