Secret email gains invite to unique theatre space

local musician debuts first music video

James Kasper launches his first music video.

James Kasper launches his first music video.

When you walk up to the grand white house at 1983 Fairfield Road, you’d never imagine what’s inside. Besides the two bedrooms, a sunken salon-style sitting room and sunny den, this house also boasts an incredibly intimate 40-plus+ seat theatre with tiered, plush seating (taken from Langham Court after its recent renovation), an office for puppeteer and owner Tim Gosley and a backstage  dressing room.

Over the last year and a half that Gosley and partner Petra Kixmöller have owned this house, called Merlin’s Sun Home Theatre, it has played host to numerous private house concerts,  theatre and puppetry workshops for children and adults and Gosley and Kixmöller’s own performances.

The couple returned to Victoria from Quebec with their two children, ages 11 and 15, when the opportunity came around to purchase the house from original owner, Romany Miller.

“To return to Victoria after 30 years and live in a house with a theatre around the corner from where I grew up — in my hood as they now call it — it’s a dream,” says Gosley, who did nine years as Basil Bear on Canadian Sesame Street, and also worked on The Muppets and Fraggle Rock.

After a shift in television production meant less room for puppetry and more cash being spent on computer animation, Gosley was left wondering what to do next.

“I had a great career through the ’80s and ’90s and even into the 2000s, but I was left at the top of my skills with nowhere to go,” says Gosley.

He decided to reconnect with old friends in Victoria, notably Clayton Jevne of Theatre Inconnu and Jan Ross curator of the Emily Carr house (which his father, Jerry Gosley helped save), did a few shows at the theatre and decided to move home.

“It was like coming to a new town, but with a foundation,” he says.

Although Gosley and Kixmöller open the theatre for concerts, it is still a private home.

“This isn’t a professional venue,” says Gosley, “But it sure feels like one.”

People interested in catching a house concert at Merlin’s Sun should send an email asking for an invitation. Each show has a suggested donation for admission, which is collected at the door. People are asked to bike or walk if possible or park away from the theatre and walk.

“We really try to be considerate of our neighbours,” says Gosley. “Although sometimes I think the music is so good I’d like to open the fire exit and share.”

The space is also his workshop and laboratory. Gosley has built some massive puppets in the space, which has 11-foot ceilings and a 16-foot stage.

“The proportions of this room are magnificent,” says Gosley.

Local musician, music promoter and founder of the Vancouver Island Music Awards James Kasper met Gosley a couple years ago and has wanted to perform at Merlin’s Sun since he heard about the space.

“I used to work as a recreation programmer in Fernwood and one of my ideas was to put on the largest puppet shows ever and someone mentioned Gosley’s name. I didn’t know how to reach him so I left it, but shortly after I got an email from him asking if he could get involved,” says Kasper.

It wasn’t long before Kasper was volunteering at Merlin’s Sun, working the door and using his skills as a promoter to help spread the word about the unique performance space.

Now he’s using it to launch his first official music video.

“I want to help bring the venue to light and help more people see it,” says Kasper.

Kasper will be joined by Kitchener’s Mike Alviano, and Ladysmith’s Ryan McMahon for a triple bill. Gosley will also be providing projected visuals for the performance. M

For an invitation to Merlin’s Sun Home Theatre, email timgosley@telus.net.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Alan Tudyk stars as Alien Harry Vanderspeigel in the new series Resident Alien (Photo by: James Dittinger/SYFY)
Resident Alien brings Vancouver Island to the small screen with January premiere

Quirky series shot in Ladysmith will air every Wednesday on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel

Comox-based cinematographer Maxwel Hohn’s new documentary captures the lives of Vancouver Island’s coastal wolves. Photo courtesy Maxwel Hohn.
New mini-documentary shot on Vancouver Island echoes the ‘call of the coastal wolves’

Photography heavyweights from B.C. come together for Maxwel Hohn’s second wildlife documentary

The 2021 Victoria Film Festival includes Vancouver Island produced feature film All-in Madonna. The festival looks a bit different this year, but film-lovers can still expect a full and diverse lineup. (Courtesy of VFF)
Victoria Film Festival returns with virtual viewing

Lineup features 50 films including Vancouver Island-produced All-in Madonna

Joy Sharpe holds a picture of her late husband Ray while posing for a photograph with the Sybil Andrews painting ‘hauling’ before donating it to the Campbell River Hospice Society. (Submitted photo)
$6 painting turned into $10,000 charity windfall

A 1952 original Sybil Andrews painting donation fetches Campbell River Hospice Society a nice return

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

The pantomime ‘Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs’ has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Submitted)
Pantomime cancelled in Cowichan due to COVID restrictions

A partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players.

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Work on Hornby Island Arts Centre to start this month

Community worked with award-winning architectural firm on design

Western Edge Theatre artistic director Brian March and local theatre artists Brianna Hamilton and Daniel Puglas (from left) make up Western Edge’s new team of “artistic associates.” (News Bulletin file photos/Courtney Harder)
Nanaimo theatre company adds younger, diverse voices to artistic team

Western Edge hopes new ‘artistic associates’ will help form new ideas, reach new audiences

Sara Lopez Assu says she’s relatively happy with how the Campbell River Art Gallery team managed to weather the storm that was 2020. File Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River Art Gallery director reflects on ‘maybe our hardest year ever’

‘It would be easy to look back and be disappointed … but that’s not going to get us anywhere’

Jean Crowder, former MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan, is the CVPAG honourary chair. (Submitted)
Art gallery group becomes registered charity in step towards realizing Duncan dream

Becoming a registered charity enables the CVPAG to greatly expand its potential donor base

From left to right; Jessica Kelly; Allaina Moore; Ben Rosnau; and Isaiah McAleese. Members of the ECHO Players Youth Group after they performed ‘Words, Words, Words’ by David Ives, in May 2019. (submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach youth theatre group looks at more livestream performances in 2021

Members stay active during pandemic with playwriting competitions and online play readings

Most Read