If you’re an adult into stand-up comedy then it is unlikely the first thing to come to mind is a gig full of families accompanied by kids with snacks and juice, laughing their heads off! Prepare to be amazed as The Merlin opens its doors for the first time this year, on 22 May, to a very funny weekend with two comedy gigs in one day.
Outside on the ECOS amphitheatre in Frome, stand-up comic and comedy quiz-host, Jarred Christmas, teams up with uber-cool beatboxer and UK Loopstation Champion, Hobbit for ‘The Mighty Kids Beatbox Comedy Show’.
In a sensational interactive collision of silliness and vocal brilliance, the young audience will pick up tips, make music and have their minds blown. Hobbit has performed from Glastonbury Festival to Times Square as well as judged the UK Beatbox Championships and hosted the International Beatbox Convention in both London and NYC. Jarred Christmas is a regular on CBBC’s The Dog Ate My Homework, and host of the CBBC hit show The Joke Machine, as well as a pantomime star alongside the likes of Priscilla Presley and Torvil and Dean.
Later that day, the theatre will open for its regular comedy club night with Pop-Up Comedy. Hosted by Jarred he tells us “Hobbit and I wanted to create a high-energy interactive and funny show that celebrates kids all the way through. When we get an audience member on stage beatboxing or telling jokes, they are the real stars of the show.”
In addition to Jarred and Hobbit, Pop-Up comedy club night will feature Irish comedian Jarlath Regan, host of the award-winning, million-plus-listener ‘ Irishman Abroad’ podcast and rising star, Abi Clarke. Abi has found inspiration and fame during the lockdown via Instagram and Twitter as well as recently hitting 15 million likes on TikTok for her sketches and video.
With families and the outdoors very much in mind, the school half term holiday will offer families Ilyria Theatre’s ‘The Further Adventures of Dr. Dolittle’ on 2 June, followed by Folksy Theatre’s new adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood later in the summer. The Merlin theatre welcomes audiences to bring picnics and cushions but is keen to remind visitors that, to comply with government rulings on numbers, people should book ahead.
Taking the town of Frome to the mid-point of the calendar year will be the stunning ‘Legends of Swing’. An afternoon of vintage jazz from Down For The Count; these energetic top-class musicians and vocalists, regularly found at jazz clubs including Ronnie Scott’s, will certainly be a highlight of a fun start to a very busy season.
Details of all times, prices and guidance for safety at the venue are via merlintheatre.co.uk