Our Work

The Theatre Orchard brings life and soul to North Somerset through the performing arts to make the region a great place to live and work.

Be part of our journey. Support our work.



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

  • “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 also managed the final stages of Diverse City's Unlimited commission Breathe for London 2012. 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. Becky loves being back home, working in the countryside of North Somerset alongside Fiona.

    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 has worked in publishing and retains an interest in the development of new writing and writers. As well as Theatre Orchard, much of her current work is with environmental arts organisation Local Journeys.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Fiona Trim Database co ordinator and Touring Stage Management

    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

    Volunteers

    The Theatre Orchard depends on a wonderful number of volunteers 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 theatre as a set and costume designer, initially as resident designer at Contact Theatre and then as a freelancer and currently as the visiting set design tutor in the drama department at Bristol University. She also works as an artist and facilitator in schools, youth centres and communities. As a practitioner working on the Bournville Estate Sue has experienced first hand how empowering and inspirational a Theatre Orchard Project can be.

    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. Ten 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 now works part-time in education in Bristol and is involved in other freelance education work.

    artists blog link
  • person 1

    Caroline Matthews Trustee

    Caroline is currently Head of Fundraising & Communications for ERIC, a children's charity based in Bristol. She has worked for over 20 years in 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

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Get in Touch

The Theatre Orchard
62 Birch Road
Bristol, BS3 1PF


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  • Strictly Balti

    Strictly Balti

    17 Oct 2014 Join Saikat as he dances precariously through his dual-identity childhood, torn between the familiar sights of Birmingham and the mysteries of Bangladesh. Yeo Valley HQ, Blagdon.

    Book Tickets
  • Hurly Burly

    Hurly Burly

    Sept 2014- Sept 2015
    Creative collaboration with young people and adults unearthing real stories of life choices imagined, made or missed. Set on The Bournville Estate Weston super Mare

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  • Love Lockleaze

    Love Lockleaze

    Sept - Dec 2014 A multi-faceted arts project that brings together young people, local police and key workers in the creation and performance of a live theatre piece that celebrates the area and its people.

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  • One Man and His Cow

    One Man and His Cow

    Available for booking 2015 Written and performed in rhyme and song by North Somerset’s very own Living Spit and with a multitude of agricultural cliches and farmyard frolics, ”One Man & His Cow” is a brand new comedy coming soon to a pub near you…

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  • Instant Wit

    Instant Wit

    Throughout 2014 Instant Wit is a quick-fire comedy improvisation show packed full of sketches, gags, songs, surreal situations, flying packets of ‘Instant Whip’ and prizes! Tickets £10 on the door or from 01275 472095
    sjclements@btinternet.com

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  • The Theatre Orchard

    The Theatre Orchard

    The Theatre Orchard in Action. Inspiring performance. Unusual Places. Creative North Somerset. Landscaping the Arts in North Somerset.

  • 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


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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Saikat Ahamed

Strictly Balti

Oct 2014  Join Saikat as he dances precariously through his dual-identity childhood, torn between the familiar sights of Birmingham and the mysteries......

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Hurlyburly

Sept - Sept 2015 "Where shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly 's done, when the battle......

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Love Lockleaze

September-December 2014 Love Lockleaze is multi-faceted arts project that brings together young people, local police and key workers in the creation and performance......

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Clevedon 100 Club

Clevedon 100 club is a group of 100 local businesses supporting a ground breaking local initiative to bring life, soul and play......

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2014 Survival Appeal for Donations

The Theatre Orchard  is a registered charity, number 1124391. We bring life and soul to North Somerset through the arts, but we don't......

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Bluebellls

Ground Force

A chance to learn about how other venues and artists are working in the region and to feed into forthcoming creative plans for......

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The Devil and The Shopkeeper

Available for Booking 2015 Bringing life and soul back to your High St. Perfect for High Street Innovation initiatives, Business Improvement Districts and Transition......

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Howard Coggins and Stu McLoughlin

One Man and his Cow

May 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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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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Adult acting Workshop

Acting for Your Life

May, July November 2014 A programme of practical workshops for actors and directors. The Theatre Orchard has teamed up with popular Weston Amateur Theatre......

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Young Promoters

May  2014 We need you! Become a young promoter in North Somerset and make a BIG difference in your neighbourhood.  1. Here is what......

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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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The Nose

Go Sees

2013-2014 Our 'Go See' programme started in March 2013 supported by NRTF. The Theatre Orchard invited key North Somerset people to go further......

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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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An Evening of Wit and Chat

June 2013 An evening where North Somerset movers and shakers, artists and makers were invited to sample the South West's best quick fire......

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In Cider Story – July 2013 Tour

March and July 2013 An irresistible modern day fable of Fraternity, Greed and Small Burrowing Mammals. The show packed out rural pubs proving......

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Bristol Festival of Puppetry

July 2013 A new partnership with Bristol Festival of Puppetry and XTND promised to skill up local XTND playworker Jo Greenberry with the......

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Summer School Hans Price Academy

July 2013 For the second year running The Theatre Orchard was asked to run a summer school in Weston super Mare. In......

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Creative Communities Toolkit

May 2013 The Theatre Orchard is currently working on bringing out an online Toolkit of practical ideas for starting and sustaining creative......

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Mirad, Boy from Bosnia: Schools Tour with British Red Cross

May 2013 The Theatre Orchard has been working with British Red Cross and Bristol Old Vic to bring 'Mirad, Boy from Bosnia'......

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Greenwood tools

Tangentfield at Wrington

May 2013 Stage-building workshop for families at Barley Wood Walled Garden on Mon 27 May, 11-4pm. Learn greenwood skills and create a......

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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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Jimmy Whiteaker as Caliban

Wild Performance

May 2013 We celebrate five years of North Somerset rural theatre touring with a photographic exhibition of the performances, the places and......

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The Railings of Hands

March 2013 Residents of Brue Close, Weston super Mare, have had a hands-on approach to the development of railings for their new Green.......

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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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Long Ashton Community Hall

Rural touring Venue Consortium

November 2011. Our first rural venue consortium meeting was held in the converted cow stall cafe at Tyntesfield. Gathered around pots of......

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Fair Share Trust Evaluation

Fair Share Trust

Summer 2012 Fair Share's  film features The Theatre Orchard plus the Bournville Community Theatre Company (5.35mins into the film) and it is now......

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The Mysterious Vanishment of Pobby and Dingan

Toured North Somerset November 2012. This is a funny and heart-breaking story about love, loyalty and the enduring power of the imagination, directed......

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Survival: Community Theatre Course

September-November 2012 This practical course was designed by Angela Athay Hunt in conjunction with Bournville Community Theatre Company (BOCO), to support members in......

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The Guild of Cheesemakers

The Guild of Cheesemakers

Toured North Somerset November 9 - 28 2012. Stand + Stare Collective brought The Guild Of Cheesemakers to North Somerset and invited us......

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The Six Wives of Henry VIII

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Toured North Somerset 10-16 September 2012. Living Spit took North Somerset by storm with this Historical romp. Howard Coggins looks like Henry VIII.......

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South Words

2011-2012. A weekly workshop to stretch imaginations and build literary muscle amongst residents on Bournville Estate. Run by experienced teacher and Creative......

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Theatre Skills Building Course

April 2011. A confidence boost to equip adults in Bournville Community Theatre Company with skills to run more of their own drama......

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Portrait

Bournville Community Theatre Company

2007-2012. Bournville Community Theatre Company played out their extraordinary story at Weston Fringe Festival on 4 Sept 2012 as a curtain raiser......

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Big Worle - GettingStarted

Big Local Worle

September 2012.  Getting Started was the name of the game in September 2012 in Worle when we set up shop in Castle......

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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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The Ballad of the Bournville

September 2011 - January 2012. Using original music, song, scripted and devised text, as well as a sprinkling of Shakespeare, The Ballad of......

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Leigh Woods

Tangentfield

June 2012. Alongside our tour of I, Peaseblossom and I, Caliban the brilliant Tangentfield embarked on two Green Woodworking workshops in Leigh Woods......

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Taking the Biscuit DVD Cover

Taking The Biscuit

June - August 2011. The Queen’s visit is the setting for a humorous look at life on the Bournville Estate in a short......

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Chitty Chitty Bournville

Summer 2011. A crash course for families in devising a loose and humour-spiked take on the familiar musical. Drama sessions ran during term......

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Fairymonsteghost at Pill Community Orchard

Fairymonsterghost

Toured North Somerset 6-26 June 2011. Written by Tim Crouch, produced by Bristol Old Vic and Company of Angels and starring Jimmy Whiteaker......

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In the Beginning

13 May 2011. An evening of creation myths from around the world. A journey back to the place before time when stars sang,......

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Chime Child

Autumn 2010 and Spring 2011. Chime Child wove together the story of a moonlight wish for a lover, songs from the long ago......

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Story Shed

May-December 2011. A shed load of interactive stories from the diverse communities of North Somerset. Young people and adults from many cultural backgrounds......

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Bianca Rosa and the Seven Robbers

July 2010. A darkly comical weaving of spoken and sung text, theatre, dance, costume and live music exploring themes of beauty and celebrity......

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Still Voices

May 2010. A restless Poet travels around a rural parish, meeting characters who tell him of the local landscape and the tales that......

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Persephone

December 2009. The dramatic tale of one girl’s journey to the Underworld and the fiery love between mothers and daughters. A cast of......

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PUXTON

Festival of Eight

Summer of 2007.  Eight new performance events that took place indoors and outdoors in North Somerset, performed by local communities across the......

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  • PENS IN PUBS 2

    By The Theatre Orchard

      The Kings Arms in Easton-in-Gordano was a hospitable meeting-place for the small group of North Somerset writers who joined Elspeth Penny.........

    Fri 18 Jul 16:26

  • LAST ORDERS AT THE BAR FOR SOUTH WEST THEATRE ORGANISATION?

    By The Theatre Orchard

    The Theatre Orchard launches cash-crisis appeal for £10,000 over next six weeks North Somerset’s only professional performing arts organisation this week issued.........

    Mon 09 Jun 16:37