The Roman Romp with extra X Factor to kickstart new season at Hitchin’s Market Theatre

Jemma Carlisle, Andy Haig, Gemma Barnes and Lauren Osborn star in The Roman Romp: The X Factor. Pict

Jemma Carlisle, Andy Haig, Gemma Barnes and Lauren Osborn star in The Roman Romp: The X Factor. Picture: Market Theatre - Credit: Archant

Hitchin’s Market Theatre is opening its new season next week with a returning comedy that is sure to calm those summer holiday blues.

The Roman Romp series produced by the Market Theatre Company is back at its Sun Street home with their fifth and final instalment of the adult slapstick The Roman Romp: The X Factor.

Since the series’ first instalment shown back in 2013, the group have invited audiences each year into the Temple Vesta home of the Vestal Virgins which is ruled over by Virginia Creeper – this year led by Gemma Barnes.

All those who live in this temple are destined to remain virgins, much to the dismay of two its residents – Frigella (played by Lauren Osborn) and Bimbus (portrayed by Jemma Carlisle).

Coinciding with the theme from previous years of Frigella’s mission to find herself a man, this year’s instalment ‘The X Factor’ involves a talent competition and the introduction of judge Simonicus Cowellicus.

The smooth Simonicus – depicted by Andy Haig – wants more than just to find the next rising star, but can Frigella use this to her advantage and finally find a man and escape the temple?

Writer and director, Kirk Foster said: “We run plays for everyone at the Market Theatre, from historical dramas to murder histories, but our comedies have always been a favourite.

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“The Adult Panto now runs for 6 months from December to May due to popular demand, and so we decided to produce the Roman Romp back in 2013 as a summer alternative.”

Theatre manager Glyn Doggett added: “The Roman Romp series has often been called ‘The Adult Panto meets Up Pompeii’ which is a great way of describing it.

“Like the adult panto, there will be moments of audience participation and the sort of slick farcical comedy that Market Theatre has become famous for over the years.”

The Roman Romp: The X Factor will run on Fridays and Saturdays at 7.30pm starting on Friday, September 1, and continuing through to Saturday, October 7.

To book tickets or for more information visit or call the box office on 01462 433553.