It was a happy day when the ‘Theatre Shop’ managed by Theatre Orchard and locally based theatre company ‘Living Spit’ opened its doors in Clevedon. They have provided us with a wealth of theatrical experiences both at the Theatre Shop and in outdoor spaces across the town. Theatre Orchard offer the same in Weston-super-Mare, and venues have included Weston Museum, Old Town Quarry, Italian Gardens, the beach and ‘Tropicana’, the iconic venue for Banksy’s ‘Dismaland’.
Theatre Orchard have now become a partner with ‘Without Walls Touring Network Partneship’ making them the only arts organisation in North Somerset and one of just two in the South West region to have joined them. Without Walls are leaders in outdoor arts and work with festivals and artists across the UK to provide inspirational work.
Their vision is to ‘…raise the artistic bar of UK outdoor arts ever higher, the diverse work it creates being recognised for innovation and wonder across the UK and overseas.’ It’s hardly suprising they were keen to team up with Theatre Orchard.
Saturday July 13th is a big day for Theatre Orchard as they present their ‘Whirligig Festival of Outdoor Arts’ which is a free event taking place between 12.00pm and 6.00pm at the Italian Gardens.
This will be a dynamic event with crowd-pulling international shows, weird and wonderful walkabout acts and dancing in the streets to circus workshops, a craft area and a host of fun activity, including face painters, stilt walkers, a giant stegosaurus and a ‘smoothie’ bike, serving up freshly made flavours.
If you’d like to know a little more about the programme highlights then read on………..
The theatre group Ockham’s Razor will be there performing ‘Belly of the Whale’. Ockham’s Razor are an aerial theatre company who combine circus and visual theatre; they are very exciting and entertaining to watch.
For their first ever production specifically for the outdoors the creative team have designed a giant half-circular see-saw structure. Choreographed on and around this very sophisticated set the show features Ockham’s Razor’s signature blend of circus skills, humour and breath taking moments of risk.
The performers, like surfers on a wild sea, ride the giant semi-circular see-saw made of wood and steel which creaks and groans as it transforms from a catapult, a gently rocking cradle, a tunnel and a slide – creating an ever changing land and soundscape.
Find out more about Ockham’s Razor here:
Max Calaf Seve is a contemporary circus company based in London. They collaborate with other artists such as dancers, musicians, writers and visual artists to create indoor and outdoor performances. The main skill is the trampoline, combined with object manipulation and physical theatre
Their show Dip is the most exciting of performances showcasing a huge range of skills from acrobatics, free running, music, dance, juggling and comedy. It really is a unique, high energy experience not to be missed.
Find out more about Max Calef Seve here:
Gandini Juggling were formed in 1992 by world-renowned juggler Sean Gandini and champion Rhythmic Gymnast Kati Yla Hokkala. They are at the vanguard of contemporary circus, reinventing and reinvigorating juggling for the 21st Century.
‘8 Songs’ consists of six rock star jugglers who perform to eight classic rock and roll songs whilst skilfully making their juggling balls literally dance to the music of the Rolling Stones, Bowie, Dylan, the Beach Boys and the Velvet Underground. They are a sight to behold and when I saw them some years ago, I was absolutely transfixed from start to finish.
Find out more about Gandidi Juggling here:
Acrojou’s ‘The Wheel House’ tells the tale of a ‘tender, post-apocalyptic love story’ and is an acrobatic promenade show, which unfolds inside and around a circular set as it rolls with the audience walking alongside it. The Wheel House has been touring since its creation in 2008 and has been booked for hundreds of events in countries, including the UK, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Israel, Russia and Australia. It is the most widely toured Without Walls commission to date.
Find out more about Acrojou’s ‘The Wheel House’ here:
Dizzy O’Dare is a contemporary circus and outdoor theatre company. Since 2009 they have produced a wide range of work, which has toured extensively and delighted audiences across the globe. They have created a range of work for all ages from full-length outdoor circus shows to small intimate roam-about acts
‘Baba Yaga’s House’ is a ramshackle old cottage, which roams the land on chicken legs, while Baba flies across the landscape in her giant pestle and mortar, and though she may seem scary, she might tell your fortune, in exchange for a year of your life, or then again she might just eat you.
Inspired by Slavic fairy tales, adapted over centuries to excite and scare children and adults alike, now awoken from her slumber, 300 years later Baba Yaga flies again.
Find out more about Dizzy O’Dare here:
I hope this post gives you a flavour of just how wonderful this community event is going to be. I think there will be lots to see and do for the whole family and it’s free.
If you’d like to do more than go and watch then get in touch with Becky from Theatre Orchard here:
Becky is looking for a whole range of helpers from people to help set up the performance area to those who’d like to talk to the audience. Maybe you’re a local who likes updating on social media or you’d prefer to help out the professional artists? There really is an opportunity for everyone. Just get in touch.
Find out more about Theatre Orchard here: