Our Artist Development work is ever evolving. We support regionally based artists to grow their ideas and skills, through advisory and producing support. We are committed to bringing artists and the community together.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on at present:


Shoplifting is the name of the Artist Development scheme run jointly by Living Spit and Theatre Orchard at Theatre Shop.

Each year we work with a different company, offering mentoring, seed funding and a run of performances to help get new work off the ground.

This year we worked with North Somerset based Mumblecrust on their new version of the classic story The Time Machine. In this family show, Mumblecrust re-invented HG Wells’ Sci Fi masterpiece with an award-winning mix of puppetry, original music and storytelling.

The premiere of the show took place at Theatre Shop at Easter time and was enjoyed by family audiences who were able to give the company valuable feedback before the show goes on tour in September.

Drag workshop with atomic rhubarb

Theatre companies Soap Soup and Atomic Rhubarb worked with Theatre Orchard’s valued volunteers to share skills and knowledge.   Some of these workshops were also open to the public.

See more HERE

Scratch ‘n’ Sniff nights to bring your senses alive!

Enjoy a free taste of the latest drama being cooked up by students and graduates from University Centre Weston and feedback on dramatic ideas as they evolve. With Atomic Rhubarb!

Find out more HERE

Local children and our Youth Board are advising Mumblecrust Theatre on the development of their exciting new family show, The Time Machine.

We are cooking up plans for the re-launch of our ‘Creative Kitchen’ networking events for artists, which will take place in various parts of North Somerset.

We are collaborating with Take Art’s BARN initiative in Somerset to support emerging talent in the wider area.

If you would like to know more about any of these opportunities or have ideas of your own to bring to the creative table, then please contact:

Recent projects

Silva Lining’s Care Plan

Theatre Orchard recently supported North Somerset based writer Elspeth Penny on the development of her new show ‘Silva Linings Casebook’, based on anonymised diaries kept by paid home carers who work with people with dementia.

The wider creative team included Sarah Moody (musician), Chris Pirie (puppetry advisory), Pameli Bentham (performer)  comedian Angie Belcher (performer), Elspeth Penny (writer), David Lane (dramatug), Sarah Warren (design), Nick Sutton (film documentation).




The production was showcased at an Arts and Dementia Conference in September 2018.

The initial showcase of Silva Linings Casebook in July 2018 was very well received by a diverse audience that included healthcare professionals “A tour de force”, “Interesting, engaging and amusing”’; “excellent – I felt the emotion”

University Centre Weston 

Two graduate companies from University Centre Weston showcased their work at Theatre Shop as part of our Autumn programme and took part in our Weekend of Wonders Showcase In Weston-super-Mare on 29th September 2018.


Contact Gonzo

A group of regionally based artists spent a week’s residency with the brilliant Contact Gonzo from Japan, collaborating on a very special performance that literally socked you between the eyes with its originality, fusing martial arts and dance in explosive fashion.






Bringing your show to North Somerset

If you are an artist or a company who would like to be considered as part of our North Somerset programme, please email details of your performance with the technical spec to Our only permanent venue is Theatre Shop in Clevedon, but we also programme surprising spaces throughout the region, and are expanding our programme of outdoor work.

We aim to acknowledge all applications but please be patient as we are a small team with a region-wide focus, so it can take us a while to get back to you.

Technical lowdown on Theatre Shop

The Theatre Shop is a performance space with a maximum seated audience capacity of 88 and a W6.10m x D3.05m stage. Upstairs (accessible only through the auditorium) is a bar and toilets, and a dressing room for visiting artists. The audience sit on chairs, so there’s some flexibility of arrangement – we can provide a cabaret style set up, for example, or some floor seating for children’s shows (although this lowers capacity).

To achieve full capacity we need to have minimum of 6 seats on either side of the staging, so if you need your audience to be end-on that would affect numbers too. We’re essentially a pop-up venue and as such we don’t have a standard theatre infrastructure, but we do our best to accommodate a wide range of requirements.

Our technical specifications and ground plan are below, or you can contact Fiona Trim, Technical Manager for more information.

for more videos

click HERE