The Frome Festival box office officially opened on Friday 15th May. Subscribers in the Festival Friends group were able to get an early chance to pick up the “hot” tickets this year on the Friday and Saturday at the Cheese and Grain box office, which reported excellent business.
The public opening was on Sunday 17th May with the now traditional early morning queue forming outside Frome’s Cheese and Grain hall. The hall’s new box office service was able to process the customers in record time, and few went away disappointed.
As ever, the three Frome Tunnels Walks sold out first. These mysterious and historic tunnels that span the town, create enormous interest every year. Excellent sales were also recorded on other activity based events like glass blowing and jewellery making.
One of the biggest successes of the Frome Festival year on year is the Hidden Gardens, where, for the price of a £4.50 map, keen gardeners can follow a trail around an ever increasing number of intriguing private gardens in Frome. This year, advanced booking has been made possible to accommodate the hundreds who take part.
Of course, the Festival is renowned for its fabulous line up of performers, and this year, the up and coming comedian Romesh Ranganathan, was on the verge of a sell out at the Merlin Theatre at the time of going to press. Having recently appeared on “House of Fools” with Reeves and Mortimer, and as an impressively witty guest on “Have I Got News for You”, Romesh is the biggest new act on the comedy circuit.
Also at the Merlin Theatre, renowned actress Sara Kestelman will be appearing with poet and performer Leo Aylen in a delightful programme entitled “The Trouble with Women is Men” on Sunday 5th July. The following Sunday the 12th, another great classical actor, Michael Pennington, delivers a highly entertaining talk based on his new book “Let Me Play the Lion Too”. Both shows are showing good early sales. Another likely sell out, is the superb singer- song writer, Glenn Tilbrook, who will be taking time out from his forthcoming tour with Squeeze to present his wonderful catalogue of hits, acoustic style, at the Merlin on Saturday 11th July.
Tickets for Cheese and Grain events are proving popular, in particular top DJ Mr. Scruff; the New York rap legends the Sugar Hill Gang, and the impressive Hoosiers.
Another popular event taking place on Friday 3rd and Sunday 5th July is Mozart’s opera Cosi Fan Tutti. With a fully professional cast and orchestra, the opera is directed by Morag McLaren at Cooper Hall, the performance space she established at Selwood Manor on the edge of Frome. In this lovely setting, visitors will get a chance to see a first class production of a popular opera, close up, at a fraction of the price of similar productions. Tickets were selling rapidly for this too.
With over 200 events, many free of charge, the Frome Festival offers something for all tastes.