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Thursday 10 December, Thursday 10 December, Friday 11 December - Gates open 6pm for 6.30pm show

New Old Friends present

Signal Fires

Crimes Against Christmas

The UK’s leading touring theatre companies are uniting to present Signal Fires, a nationwide festival inspired by one of the original forms of theatre – storytelling around a fire.

Frome-based New Old Friends are nationally renowned for their inventive comedy shows and are thrilled to be alongside great companies like Headlong, Kneehigh, ETT and many more. The company, like most of the industry, has not performed since March. This festival acts as a statement of hope and intent; touring theatre will return.

The show itself is an adaptation of Crimes Against Christmas. It’s a thrilling and hilarious tale, this time told live around a fire at the Merlin’s ECOS Amphitheatre in the style of a radio play. Peter Artridge is on a case, but lords are leaping to their death, milk maids are murdered mid-milk and he doesn’t like the look of all these pear trees…

The venue will be Covid-secure in line with the latest guidelines; there will be mulled wine & hot soup available. Please wrap up warm, bring cushions and blankets.

Press reviews

“A mesmerising mix of murder, mayhem and comedy”.
4 stars The Stage

“A laugh a minute rollercoaster of fun”
5 stars Behind the Arras

“ Fun, fast and very silly”
4 stars Stage Talk

“All in all, it’s a great night”
4.5 stars Theatre Twittic

Book Now

All tickets: £5.50
Please note that senior citizens are no longer automatically eligible for concessions. See our guidelines

Running time: 60 mins with no interval

Recoommended: 12+

Accessibility For hearing impaired audience members we are happy to provide a digital download of the script for you to follow along.

We will allocate seating to our patrons on the night so please arrive in good time. Although we will make every effort to accommodate all parties, it may not be possible for large groups to be seated together. Please bear with us on this.

If you have access requirements or additional needs please email merlincoordinator@gmail.com, preferably a minimum of 24 hours before the performance. If this is not possible, please arrive at least 30 minutes before the performance and make yourself known to the Front of House Manager.

Masks must be worn whilst inside all public areas and are encouraged outside for the duration of the performance.