Dramatic retail therapy

Theatre Orchard and Living Spit met in 2012. Their eyes locked across a crowded room and they decided to get together and turn an empty shop into a theatre.

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Marie-Dominique Demers-King

Marie-Dominique is a married mum of two children, a freelance photographer and a volunteer at the Theatre Shop in Clevedon. While she’s experienced life in other countries including Australia and Canada, Clevedon is now very much home.

March 11th, 2019

Theatre Shop Clevedon is, as you might expect, a theatre in a shop. Once the shop was empty but now it’s filled with energy and laughter on a regular basis. Is this a one off, pop up or part of bigger campaign to revive the High Street?

I became involved in the Theatre Shop from its second season. A joint project between Theatre Orchard and Living Spit, it started life as a pop up theatre run by volunteers to bring performing arts to the community of Clevedon but didn’t stop there. Its popularity means that Theatre Shop has now run for five years showing not only plays, gigs, dance, quizzes, poetry and shows but also many workshops and other events for people of all ages.

If I’m going shopping for theatre, what kinds of things can I buy?

The new season starts in early April and offers a whole range of carefully chosen, exciting content. From Living Spit’s amusing comedic songs to Pickled Image’s ingenious puppetry there are certainly unique shows to see here. A personal favourite? Kate Dimbleby is returning with her show full of interesting anecdotes and beautifully layered vocals.

I hear you’re keen to encourage shoplifting – what’s that all about?

Theatre Orchard really wants people to get into performing arts in any way they can and  have devised an Artist Development scheme, Shoplifing, to support a local groups and artists.

Shoplifters get time and rehearsal space at the Theatre Shop as well as valuable mentoring from TS co-founders, Living Spit, plus some seed funding.

Our most recent Shoplifters are Mumblecrust Theatre, who have been developing their new family show, ‘The Time Machine’,  working with young people in North Somerset.

What’s next for Theatre Shop? Can we expect to see a branch in every High Street?

We hope to carry on for many more seasons and provide Clevedon community with ever  more varied and interesting shows. While it would be great to see this kind of community effort in every town, for now we are focusing on bringing quality performances to the coastal community of Clevedon.

Don’t leave Clevedon without...

Having a walk to the end of the Pier.

What’s Clevedon’s best kept secret?

The Curzon Cinema - the oldest continually running cinema in the UK

 For details about all Theatre Shop events click here.

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