Monday, June 03, 2013

Why is Frome such a hotbed of creativity? It's a frequent question now that Frome is officially on the Hot List of places to live in England, and local luminary Matthew Graham was asked his view by Dan Biggane in interview for the Somerset Standard. Other than being old and hidden and hence evolving without outside interference into a unique identity, he had no solution. "Why is ultimately a mystery. Best not to question it, just be grateful for it." Matthew himself is one of those at the hub of our precious mystery, and his latest contribution to creative-crucible spirit of the town is Makeshift Musical, the stage show he wrote specifically for Merlin Theatre Company as a fundraiser. His brief ~ combining songs from widely different musicals within a storyline for the exuberant young cast ~ must have been as challenging as scripting Life on Mars but the result was a delightfully engaging tale of the city with some stunning individual performances and wonderful ensemble work, and a standing ovation on Saturday night for the final performance at the Merlin.

Sunday saw the annual Cheap Street Fun Day, this year merging with Frome's Super Market so access roads closed and the streets filled with performers and balloons and stalls selling everything from fantasy clothes to foods exotic and local,  the whole town transformed into a summer festival but with extra cheese sampling. Fabulous free music all day ~ Frome Street Bandits and Leander Morales here ~ and evening too, as another fantastic Jazz Jam at the Cornerhouse closes the first weekend of real summer...
Black Swan Arts new exhibition is a site-specific installation from Mark Karasick if you could see what i see through your eyes. Mark has created monolithic images of his parents through the ancient technique of encaustic painting of fragments carefully nailed together. Rose Flint's workshop for Words at the Black Swan focussed on the artist's theme of DNA streamed from parents making each child a new individual yet still linked to the past. We wrote relating this notion to ourselves and a fascinating range of responses emerged ~ they'll be posted on our facebook page. 

So, yes, why IS Frome such a hotbed of creative activity, filled with people of all ages ready to share their extraordinary talent with their community readily and usually with no or little remuneration...
Dan Biggane asked Rosie and me that too, in a great double-page spread about our Pub Theatre and current Nevertheless production from Frome Scriptwriters at The Cornerhouse: When She Imagines, on June 14th and 15th. We said... well you can read that on the paper's new website here!

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