Magic of Merlin comes to local library

The En­notville Summer Theatre’s fifth season continues with William Rowley’s The Birth of Merlin, which opened this week at the Ennotville library.

The Birth of Merlin is a Jacobean play, erroneously (or perhaps deliberately) attributed to William Shakespeare, al­though even a cursory exami­nation of the text is enough to dispel the idea of his hand in the authorship.

It tells the story of Merlin’s birth as a fully-grown man, fathered by the Devil himself and brought into the world by one “Joan Go t’oot” a lovely but somewhat gullible lass with a clown for a brother.

How can the outrageous, far-flung story be given to an audience in an interesting, com­prehensible manner, and how can a show with over 49 speaking roles (and countless extras) be sandwiched into the cozy confines of the Ennotville Library?

“Finding a simple, elegant solution to this challenge hasn’t been easy,” said Grinder’s cre­ative and executive director Eric Goudie.

“But what we’ve finally come up with is some­thing that’s both accessible and entertaining, and I think our audiences in Ennotville will love it.”

Rather than committing five acts of cumbersome verse to memory the verbal portion of the play will be presented as a dramatic reading with a few ac­tors each playing several diff­erent characters.

To illustrate the action of the play, other younger actors, using simple costumes and props, will pro­vide the visual component of the show.

 The Birth of Merlin runs to July 18 at 8pm at the Ennotville library.

Tickets are $15 each, and are available by calling 519-780-7593 or online at