£100 from 100 businesses in bid to host town centre theatre

'The Devil and the Shopkeeper, with Stu Mcloughlin and Howard Coggins, was performed in Clevedon and

'The Devil and the Shopkeeper, with Stu Mcloughlin and Howard Coggins, was performed in Clevedon and Nailsea - Credit: Archant

THEATRE performances in empty shops have proved such a hit plans are afoot to put on a month-long sequel – as long as enough money can be sought for the project.

The Theatre Orchard, North Somerset’s arts development charity, recently organised pop-up performances of The Devil and the Shopkeeper in empty units in Clevedon and Nailsea.

These were a resounding success with local shops taking an average of 25 per cent more business on performance days.

Now, the charity is hoping to put on a month of theatre that transforms an empty Clevedon unit into an all-singing, all-dancing emporium.

This is planned for 2015, with a view to establishing a long-term performing arts centre serving the whole of North Somerset in the future.

However, The Theatre Orchard is currently in the middle of a financial crisis after its funding from Arts Council England ran out.

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In a bid to solve the problem, it has joined up with Clevedon Chamber of Commerce to form a Clevedon 100 Club, designed to persuade 100 businesses to donate £100 each to the charity.

Donations would then encourage grant organisations, such as Arts Council England, to invest public money in the plan.

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Creative producer, Fiona Matthews said: “It is a small request for a big return that benefits everyone living and working in the area.

“Live performance transforms public spaces and bonds communities.

“Our pop-up theatre plans are about convincing people of all ages to use local High Streets for shopping and playing, keeping community spirit and local economies alive and kicking.”

For more details email info@thetheatreorchard.org.uk or call 07952 619763.

Cheques made payable to The Theatre Orchard 100 Club can be sent to 64 Nore Road, Portishead, BS20 8DC. Donations of £10 can also be made by texting TORC14£10 to 70070.

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