Theatre Shop set to return as lease is secured

PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 July 2015

Theatre Shop opening

Theatre Shop opening

Archant

A hugely-successful theatre season in Clevedon is ‘very likely’ to be returning for a full year after a local theatre company secured the lease of the venue.

Theatre Shop, which took place from April 24 to May 21 this year, was held in a disused shop in Queens Square and attracted thousands of visitors through its doors who enjoyed a full programme of live performance including music, comedy and magic.

Now, The Theatre Orchard along with Clevedon-based theatre group, Living Spit, has secured the lease of the site for a further 12 months and is looking to secure donations to allow it to book acts to perform at the venue from September onwards.

An initial total of £10,000 was originally set but donations have already reached more than £14,000. It is now hoped that a further £15,000 can be collected in order to purchase equipment and book a programme of professional and community events as well as workshops and functions.

A spokesman for The Theatre Orchard said: “North Somerset is one of only eight councils failing to provide even one penny on culture each week per constituent.

“Theatre Shop’s first season brought live performance to more than 5,000 people including ballet to the pier, top comedy and music names to the town’s cinema and sell-out shows to a pop-up empty shop.

“The benefits of this project will be a cultural hub for the whole community that brings people together from across North Somerset.

“Theatre Shop is a space run for the community, with the community.”

Becky Chapman, Theatre Orchard producer, added: “It is looking very likely and we are just putting the pieces of the jigsaw together now.

“We need to make sure we proceed in a way that is responsible but exciting.”

Organisers have also announced that 2,166 tickets had been sold to more than 4,000 people during the course of the original season.

Arts Council England is interested in a Christmas theatre show being staged at the venue, which local groups will be able to use as a rehearsal space during the summer for a small donation. The upstairs bar at the shop would also return with the venue staffed by a team of volunteers.

Donations of £10 will pay for a Theatre Shop chair, £50 would provide 10 subsidised tickets to disadvantaged young people while £550 would pay for a Living Quiz Night for 60 people.

To donate to the fundraising campaign click here or alternatively contact Becky Chapman on 07952 619763 or becky@thetheatreorchard.org.uk


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