Our Work

We all want to see more live performance in places outside the main urban centres. At the moment we are fundraising to keep our Clevedon Theatre Shop open for 12 months. We need your help to do this.

Please support our work by donating now. Please get in touch with Becky Chapman Theatre Orchard Producer to talk more on 07952619763 or email becky@thetheatreorchard.org.uk




We tour live theatre to a host of surprising spaces and places: from historic houses to village halls; from woodland glades to farmyards; supporting a nationwide network of touring performance. We also involve local people in inspiring arts projects to keep the creative spirit of the whole region flowing.

If you care about North Somerset and would like to see, take part in or support The Theatre Orchard, we would love to hear from you. And if you live or work outside the region, but would like to experience a taste of North Somerset closer to home, get in touch at info@thetheatreorchard.org.uk

What People Say

  • “We should all look forward to what looks like a great season at the Theatre Orchard. It is so encouraging to see such excellent theatre being staged in Clevedon – flying the flag for the performing arts in North Somerset and the wider region.”

    George Ferguson, Tobacco Factory Bristol

  • “I'm thrilled to hear about the 'Theatre Shop' project. As far as I'm concerned, the experience of live arts is one of the great pleasures of life. Music, theatre, comedy, dance – or any combination of the above – these brighten our world. ”

    Peter Lord, Creative Director at Aardman Animations

  • “You can't beat the feeling you get from sharing a space with a live audience and performers. The humanity, the intimacy and the sense of community that come from these shared experiences seem to me be right at the heart of being human. And why should the Big Cities have a monopoly in this? Well of course they shouldn't and they don't. Projects such as Theatre Shop thrive because committed and passionate people can work a special magic in small successful communities like Clevedon.”

    Peter Lord, Creative Director at Aardman Animations

  • “Entertainment is not about being the best, it’s about making people feel good and it's heart warming to realise there is still a world of entertainment beyond the mobile phone apps, viral videos and youtube fails. Simple entertainment, for the sake of entertaining people. Well done ... keep up the good work!”

    Darren Crabb

  • “We thoroughly enjoyed the show and thought it really got the 'shop local' message across in a very clever, entertaining but subtle way - well done to everyone involved.”

    Mandie Berry North Somerset Council

  • “I was particularly impressed with the work The Theatre Orchard has been doing and how their work has built people’s confidence and skills in acting – a really lovely approach to capacity building. ”

    Kate Stewart UK Community Foundations

  • “I really want to say thanks to the people who put up the cash for this – it has changed my confidence so much.”

    Female member Bournville Community Theatre Company, Weston super Mare

  • “Theatre has a magical way of drawing people into new way of looking at things.”

    Katy Hallett, Sustrans, North Somerset

  • “Bob’s brilliant. I understand the difference between ‘their' and ‘there' for the first time ever! I’ve learnt so much I’ve got the confidence to write the theatre minutes. I just don’t want him to stop EVER”

    Vickie Bardsley, South Words Writer, Weston super Mare

  • “It’s not just the acting it’s the other stuff that you don’t realise – I am learning new confidence in me, learning how to relax, communicating without speech. I can be sexy! This is a huge thing and it’s all safe in the group.”

    Female member, Bournville Community Theatre, Weston super Mare Company

  • “We want the Tithe Barn to be a vibrant, all-inclusive centre of the community and the opportunities offered by Theatre Orchard to bring original and high-quality theatre to Nailsea is exactly what we are looking for.”

    Barbara Calvert on behalf of Nailsea Tithe Barn Trust

  • “It was a relevation to hear that a Bristol Old Vic Ferment play would be shown on a stage within walking distance of my living room. I think it must have had the same effect for many other locals, as the place was well and truly sold out.”

    Chrissy Davey, audience member The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Pill, North Somerset

  • “Theatre Orchard are contributing to the rural economy and to our Community Association’s vision to extend the local programme of recreational and cultural events right here where people live in the countryside.”

    Sarah Leong, Long Ashton Community Centre, North Somerset

Our People

  • person 1

    Becky Chapman Producer

    Becky's family roots are in Bristol and Somerset and she also trained in the South West. She's worked at getting more people involved in more theatre for nearly 30 years both in UK and overseas. Recently Becky was at Theatre Royal Plymouth running Funky Llama and she is also Executive Producer for Diverse City. Previously Artistic Associate with the Australian Theatre for Young People, and Arts Development Producer Accessible Arts Sydney, Australia, she is now a freelance producer, director and teacher.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Fiona Matthews Creative Producer

    Fiona freelances as a creative producer across the artforms, with particular experience in theatre, public art and community arts. She was instrumental in setting up The Theatre Orchard in 2007, as Arts Development Officer for North Somerset Council. Previously Fiona has managed Sainsbury's nationwide Arts Sponsorship Programme, developing and managing award-winning partnerships with national and regional arts companies, theatres and galleries. Fiona's independent producing work includes The Theatre Orchard, Living Spit, Shoofly Theatre, Company of Angels and Local Journeys.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Fiona Trim Stage, Company and Venue Manager and Database Manager

    Fiona Trim has extensive experience as a Stage and Company manager and arts Administrator. She worked full time for the Royal Academy of Music and prior to that freelanced for a wide range of national companies including Theatre Royal Bath, Grange Park Opera and English Touring Opera. Fiona currently works part time at Weston College on the Apprenticeship programme.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Helen Edwards Assistant Producer

    Helen has recently relocated back to the South West to work as a freelance producer after several years of living and working in London. Prior to freelancing Helen worked at the National Theatre as the Youth Programme Coordinator, the National Centre for Circus Arts and Salisbury International Arts Festival. As a theatre producer Helen specialises in artist development and participatory work and projects that engage with public and community spaces. Helen is really excited to be working with the Theatre Orchard team on Theatre Shop in 2015.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Anna Coleman Theatre Shop Assistant

    Anna is a 21-year-old student living in Clevedon and studying in Bristol. I am in my 3rd year of my honours degree reading Theatre, Film and Television at the University of Bristol and will be (hopefully!) graduating in July. I am thrilled to be spending my final university months working with The Theatre Orchard and to be involved with Theatre Shop. As a young person living in North Somerset I believe that The Theatre Orchard is taking wonderful measures to revitalise Clevedon’s town centre in both a cultural and theatrical sense - I’m very excited to be involved!

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Helen Wheelock Theatre Shop Assistant

    Helen is currently studying a Creative Arts Therapies Degree in Bristol alongside working part time for North Somerset’s Children’s Centres as an Early Years Worker.
    Helen is excited to be doing her work placement with The Theatre Orchard especially being involved in the Theatre Shop, Clevedon, her home town.
    Previously Helen has trained and worked in Retail Design and Display for over 10 years, specialising in designing and making props for shop windows.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Volunteers

    The Theatre Orchard depends on a wonderful number of volunteers (including our trustees) who manage key tasks such as maintaining our database, distributing leaflets and updating listings information online. There are a host of jobs and we are always looking for more help. If you would like to volunteer for us, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you. Just email info@thetheatreorchard.org.uk

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Sue Pearce Trustee

    Sue has worked for many years in the theatre as a set and costume designer. She currently works at the University of Bristol as the visiting set design tutor and recently designed The Winter’s Tale at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol for the students at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Sue also works as an artist and facilitator in schools, youth centres and communities in North Somerset. As a practitioner working on the Bournville Estate Sue has experienced first hand how empowering and inspirational Theatre Orchard projects are.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Liz Milner Trustee

    Liz is a freelance artist/creative producer with a background in photography and participatory arts and media. She has lived in North Somerset for over 20 years and been involved with arts initiatives (including North Somerset Arts Week in 2003 & 2005) as well as having an interest in the area’s geology, history, natural history and social geography - the layers of stories of the area. Liz has had a long involvement with Bristol Watershed, initially on the photography advisory panel and later as a co-ordinator, producer and facilitator on projects such as Electric December, animate +, Bristol Stories and most recently Relays at Watershed.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Bob Walton Trustee

    Bob writes poetry, fiction, theatre-scipts and reviews and is currently working towards a PhD in Creative Writing at Cardiff University. His poetry pamphlet, Waiting for the Wave, has just been published by Pighog Press of Brighton.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    David Fairclough Trustee

    David has been involved in theatre finance and administration for over thirty years at RSC, Royal Exchange, Manchester, and a number of other regional subsidised theatres. Fifteen years ago he joined the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as Finance Director and amongst other things set up the BOVTS Friends organisation and became involved and interested in the theatre life of Bristol. He is now retired and is Company Secretary of the Tobacco Factory Theatre, and Treasurer of North Somerset Arts.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Caroline Matthews Trustee

    Caroline has worked for over 20 years within voluntary sector organisations and brings experience of strategy, marketing and fundraising. Living in Portishead with an extended family that includes 3 daughters, Caroline is passionate that people should be able to access arts and creativity close to home. Having graduated with a degree in theatre studies, performance is close to her heart but these days this is entirely in the role of facilitator and spectator!

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Howard Coggins Trustee

    Howard is an actor, writer and musician who has worked in theatre for twenty years in venues such as the Bristol Old Vic, Salisbury Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith, Tobacco Factory, West Yorkshire Playhouse & The Watermill. He has also worked extensively in film, television & radio, whilst always being based in North Somerset. For the past three years he has also been co-director of Living Spit theatre company producing work in North Somerset and taking it around the country.

    artists blog link

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The Theatre Orchard
62 Birch Road
Bristol, BS3 1PF


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  • Life From a Window

    June 2016
    A new digital collaboration with young people and adults that captures the stories of our dramatic work together and translates it into a stunning film.

  • Theatre Shop

    Theatre Shop

    April - May 2015, October 2015 - January 2016 and June - July 2016 Three seasons of live performance presented in partnership with Living Spit and the people of Clevedon. Theatre, Magic, music, comedy, games and dance.

    Read More
  • Tropicana Futures

    Tropicana Futures

    Consultation and conversation about the future of Weston-super-Mare's iconic ex Lido. Site of Dismaland and place of possibility. Contribute to the future by joining in the regular chats online and face to face.

    Read More
  • Theatre Orchard Promo film

    A snapshot of activity in North Somerset over 2015-2016 find out how to get involved and support our work by emailing becky@thetheatreorchard.org.uk

  • Forever in Your Debt

    Forever in Your Debt

    Available now. Digital and live exploration of debt and money lending, availble in your community now.
    For booking information email info@thetheatreorchard.org.uk


What we do


Frankenstein

Frankenstein

A Living Spit and Salisbury Playhouse production Two souls inextricably linked. One, a tortured and tenacious genius. The other, a hideous creature made......

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Tropicana Futures

The Story so far. Last year, Banksy brought Dismaland to The Tropicana. (Lots of dismal people came and had a dismal time). The Theatre......

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Theatre Shop for hire

Lovingly converted empty retail unit that works as a workshop, performance and rehearsal space. Venue for Theatre Shop season in April May......

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Theatre @The Bay

Theatre @The Bay

Theatre @The Bay took key shows from our Theatre Shop programme to Weston, and added a handful of new ones, with Nutshell......

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Nutshell Nutcracker

Nutshell Nutcracker

A Theatre Orchard Production for Theatre Shop, in association with Ballet Central Written and directed by Toby Hulse Choreography by Sara Matthews (ex Rambert),......

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Theatre Shop

Seasons of live performance on your doorstep Live performance in Clevedon, North Somerset with full details and booking on www.theatreshop.org.uk Living Spit and The Theatre......

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Streets Alive in Weston

As Dismaland comes to a grand finale, Weston-super-Mare’s high street and seafront will come alive with vibrant street theatre for people of......

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Jamming for the Terrified

July - September 2015 "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life" said Berthold Auerbach. Well whether you're soul-searching or......

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Ruth Mitchell in Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

October 2015 Homeward Bound is a play about stepping up to the plate, getting to first base and following your dreams. “Baseball is a......

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ITV News

Hurlyburly

Sept-Dec 2015 Digital reimagining of an earlier dramatic performance presented by adults and young people from Hans Price Academy Weston super Mare. ITV News Report See......

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Saikat Ahamed

Strictly Balti

Nov 2015  Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Saikat dances precariously through his dual-identity childhood, torn between the familiar sights of Birmingham......

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Howard Coggins and Stu McLoughlin

One Man and His Cow

June 2014 A man. A cow. A shed load of trouble. Trevor loves Judy. Judy loves Trevor. They’re best mates. Trouble is, Trevor’s......

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Sammy and the Snow Leopard

March 7th 2015 Sammy is 9 years old and likes animals. No...he LOVES animals. The problem is his Mum won't let him have......

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Barre on The Pier

Theatre Shop on the Streets

25 April - May 2015 Theatre Shop ran a  FREE programme of street shows that brought the squares, pavements and iconic Pier alive......

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Two Four Six Eight

Craig has been invited to his best friend’s Birthday Party. There is an invitation to read, presents to wrap, cakes to buy and......

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Clevedon 100 Club

Clevedon 100 Club is a group of local businesses who helped us 'set up shop' in Clevedon for a month in May......

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Three Miles North

Feb - June 2015 We are making theatre, music, film and loads of fun 'Three Miles North' of Bristol city centre. This multi-faceted arts project......

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Instant Wit 2014

Instant Wit

Sat 18 October and Fri 7 November 2014 Also available for booking 2015 Instant Wit is a quick-fire comedy improvisation show packed full of sketches,......

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I, Peaseblossom and I, Caliban

May 2014 North Somerset and Feb - May 2014 National Tour. Company of Angels, toured nationally in association with The Theatre Orchard. Tim Crouch’s unique......

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Pens in Pubs and Jamming for the Terrified

Free Pint Size Events in pubs. Calling writers and musicians, come along to free pub workshops in writing and music: Try new forms working......

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Pens and a Pint

Pens in Pubs

Fortnightly meetings 2014 Open creative and social get togethers for all writers and storytellers at whatever stage, of whatever age. The group meets fortnightly......

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Babylon

Babylon

February 2014 A show about kings and queens and revolutions. It’s about the things we love, the things we should hold tighter to......

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Clevedon Curzon cinema

Forever in your Debt

Available for booking in your community. "This activity was an excellent way of showing what can happen, it was very engaging and gave......

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e-news

The Theatre Orchard publishes a regular e-news that gives details of what we are up to. You can sign up for the newsletter......

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Holt Farm

Savage Children: Wild Girl and Mirad, Boy from Bosnia

Touring North Somerset from 27 May-1 June 2013.  A Bristol Old Vic, the egg, Bath, Dukes Playhouse and Theatr Iolo production. This double......

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In Cider Story

March 2013. The Theatre Orchard and Living Spit presented a new pub show for North Somerset. “There are things you need to know about......

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Summer School Weston super Mare

August 2012. Anthony Almeida, Associate Artist for Bristol Old Vic Outreach, led young people in dramatic action down at Broadoak College and at Oldmixon......

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  • Call out for performers for Theatre Shop 2015

    By The Theatre Orchard

    The Theatre Orchard’s latest partnership with Living Spit in association with Curzon Cinema and Arts – Theatre Shop 2015 – needs YOU!!! Theatre.........

    Fri 16 Jan 7:08

  • Talking Shop

    By The Theatre Orchard

    Thank you, thank you to the lovely lively crowd who gathered this week to build our shopping list for a partnership between.........

    Thu 15 Jan 23:04