Grimm gingerbread house at the Merlin

THIS year’s Christmas show at the Merlin in Frome is Hansel and Gretel, on stage from 7th to 16th December.

It is adapted by the theatre’s creative team from the original fairy story collected by the Bro­th­ers Grimm.

The harvest has been poor, and the residents of Hansel and Gretel’s village are seriously hungry. As  famine approaches,  the woodcutter makes a deal with the baker, handing over his two children to a wicked stepmother. One day, as a punishment for spilling precious milk, she abandons the two frightened children in the cursed West Woods.

Searching for a way out,  they stumble on a beautiful and tasty-looking gingerbread house, and start to nibble on the framework. But is the house all it seems and will the children ever be reunited with their father distraught?

The show includes a really wicked witch and two cheeky dancing pigeons who help Hansel and Gretel, and even more lost children – to find their way home.

The heartwarming festive story is a perfect start to the Christmas season and the show is suitable for a family audience.

There are various daytime and evening performances. For more details, telephone 01373 46594 or visit the website,

Photographs by Dave Merritt at  Longleat Festival of Light and original illustrations by Mary McQuillan.