It’s hard to believe that our wonderful Theatre Shop started life as a short-term pop-up, but it did. We’ve had five years of drama, melodrama, comedy, tragedy, music, dance, quizzes, monologues, duologues………the list is endless. A big thank you to the very talented Theatre Orchard and Living Spit who made this happen and here’s to the next five years!
Just in case the Theatre Shop is new to you, it’s in the heart of the town in Queen’s Square, tucked between Superdrug and Boots and comes complete with its own bijou bar, serving a range of locally produced beverages before and after shows. It really is a lovely night out and the purpose of this blog post is to tell you a little bit more about the fabulous performances that are showing from October to the end of December. It’s a long read but there will be some people who will want to take advanatge of the price reduction if you book for three shows in one go. Enjoy!
HOW TO KEEP TIME – Antosh Wojcik Friday 18th October 2019
Award-winning spoken word artist Antosh Wojcik tells the moving story of his Polish grandfather’s struggle against dementia through a mesmeric performance of drumming and poetry.
“Dziadek? Dziadek? Can you hear me?” Using just his voice and an electronic drum kit, awardwinning spoken word artist Antosh Wojcik explores the effects of dementia on speech, memory and family in his debut work for stage, ‘How to Keep Time’. Subtitled ‘A Drum Solo for Dementia’, this 60-minute show is a mesmeric display of drumming and spoken word in which poems become beats and beats become glitches in time. Antosh Wojcik tells the moving story of his Polish grandfather’s struggle against vascular dementia and the effect it had on the people around him. “What happens when memories disappear? Where do they go and can we get them back? Can I use my drums to communicate with my grandfather?”
“ORIGINAL, TENDER, FUNNY AND MOVING… ONE OF MY FRINGE PICKS.” BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
Picture credit © Stefan Wojcik
MATHILDAMATHILDA – Soap Soup Saturday 19th October 2019
An imaginative and highly original adventure story where two heads are better than one, created and performed by MotherDaughter duo, Tomasin and Ros Cuthbert in Soap Soup’s first show for older audiences.
A paper heart is caught in the wind. It flutters from the fingers of a little girl who had been practicing writing her name on it: MathildaMathilda. On the hill, overlooking the sea, Nelly works in her artist’s studio. Her childhood doll sits in a bag, forgotten. But in the bag is not one doll’s head…but two. The heart blows through the window and gently lands on the doll’s breast. MathildaMathilda opens her eyes, rolls them around and starts… she is alive! But what is she? This is an adventure story. A tale in which two heads are better than one. A story of connection and separation, of seaside towns, urban jungles, exploding paint factories… and of a wicked diva with a forgotten past. This is Soap Soup’s first show for older audiences, and boasts jazz compositions by celebrated composer Ashley John Long. It’s a highly original piece of work, not to be missed.
“SPELLBINDING. THIS IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE CHILDREN’S PLAY. LOVELY AND GENTLE AND EVEN A BIT HAUNTING.” BRISTOL CULTURE (ON ‘THE SNOW BABY’)
Picture credit © Paul Blakemore
DAWTA – Dionne Draper Friday 25th October 2019
Black in a white world, ‘Dawta’ is a one woman musical and compelling story of a transracial adoptee’s quest to find her way home.
“Look at Sarah’s hair, it doesn’t get wet!” “Oh yeah” I say with surprise. Separated from her Jamaican mother at 5 days old, Sarah is adopted and raised by a white family in rural Devon. Black in a white world, ‘Dawta’ is a one woman musical exploring identity, race, courage, God and Sarah’s number one question, “Who Am I”? Written and performed by South West actor and singer Dionne Draper, ‘Dawta’ is her first semiautobiographical musical and Sing With Soul’s first theatre production. Recent work includes Avona’s song ‘Beyond The Tide’ and feminist anthem, ‘We Rise’. ‘Dawta’ (Jamaican ‘patwa’ for daughter) features 7 characters, 10 songs and 1 woman in a compelling and powerful story of a transracial adoptee’s quest to find her way home.
“STUNNING. POWERFUL AND METICULOUSLY PERFORMED.” AUDIENCE FEEDBACK
BERYL’S OF MAYFAIR Kate McNab’s solo performance for Ministry of Entertainment Saturday 2nd November 2019
Mervyn’s going to Kidderminster. Beryl’s off for her monthly trip to the wholesaler in Exeter (or is she?) and there’s only Hattie, the overzealous new junior, to keep an eye on the salon. What could possibly go wrong? Well… Mr. Bicknell is supposed to arrive early to repair the dry rot upstairs. He doesn’t. Susan hasn’t had her ‘hot water-tap training’ yet and now there’s a suspicious vagrant lurking in the back yard. The clients, Beryl’s ‘ladies,’ with their regular appointments are coming in any minute. Oh… and Blue Rinse Monday was such a huge success that some will have to be fitted in today, Tuesday. Well, Mervyn did offer the ‘silver’ clients the rinse at half-price. Oh no! Here comes Mrs. Bluett. She has new gossip and she’s peeking under all the dryers, looking for Mrs. Foster. Here they come. All hands to the sinks!
“I HAVEN’T LAUGHED SO MUCH IN YEARS! HILARIOUS.” AUDIENCE FEEDBACK TO ‘BERYL’S OF MAYFAIR’
Picture credit © Luke Bizios
A LITTLE DEATH – Vic Llewellyn Friday 8th November 2019
A critically acclaimed, hilarious and moving one-man musical show about mass hysteria and tales of a world gone mad. With songs by Kid Carpet.
“A One-Man show about Mass Hysteria!” “It works a bit like homeopathy,” he said, “A little bit of bad news does you good.” In April 1942, William Williams steps on a booby trap which blows off most of his toes on his left foot and leaves the edge of his shinbone looking like the surface of the Moon. On returning home he continues where he left off; he’s the local Butcher, just like his Dad before him. But at 7 o’clock every night he entertains his children with tales of a world gone mad, a world that we would be best advised to stay away from. In this hilarious and moving one-man musical show about mass hysteria, Vic Llewellyn (‘The Castle Builder’) explores themes of loss, hope, and the need for positive change.
Songs by Kid Carpet. Directed by Tanuja Amarasuriya and Emma Williams. Designed by Shona Reppe. Production: Emma Bettridge & FERMENT.
“IT IS WITHOUT DOUBT ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS I’VE SEEN THIS YEAR, AND I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT AGAIN.” EXEUNT MAGAZINE
Picture credit © Mark Conway
DIY CHEF – George Egg Saturday 9th November 2019
Comedian George Egg whisks up a feast of entertainment in an inventive evening of stand-up and live cooking using an array of equipment from gardening implements to power tools!
George Egg is a stand-up comedian who cooks food, surprisingly good food, live on stage using unconventional methods and unexpected equipment. He makes you laugh too. In ‘George Egg: DIY Chef’ a health scare sees George banished from the family kitchen and relocated to the garden shed where his imagination and resourcefulness lead him to build an improvised kitchen. During an inspiring and inventive evening of stand-up and live cooking, George prepares a breakfast, lunch and dinner using, amongst other things, a wallpaper stripper, a heat gun, a paper shredder, gardening implements, hairdressing appliances and a whole host of power tools. And the audience get to eat the food at the end!
“TRUST US, YOU WON’T BELIEVE HOW GOOD THE FOOD IS.” THE SCOTSMAN
Picture credit © Matt Lincoln
I AIN’T AFRAID OF NO GHOST – Little Earthquake Thursday 14th November 2019
Grown-up Gareth takes a nostalgic trip back to his childhood as a self-appointed Ghostbuster, to uncover the truth about his very own haunted house and the KitKat-pinching poltergeist. Complete with chart-topping 80s soundtrack.
“It’s 1986. I am eight years old. Prince Andrew and Fergie get married in the summer. Dirty Den serves Angie divorce papers on Christmas Day. And I’m sharing my bedroom with a KitKat-pinching ghost.” Inspired by his favourite film, little Gareth became a self-appointed Ghostbuster, launching an investigation into a playful poltergeist. Now, three decades later, with the help of home videos, retro toys and interviews with his nearest and dearest, grown-up Gareth is determined to uncover what was really going on inside his very own haunted house. Join us for a nostalgic trip back to the 80s and a comic exploration of a childhood haunting where nothing is quite what it seems — all wrapped up in some formidable fashions, stuffed with sweet treats and set to a cheese-tastic chart-topping soundtrack.
“LITTLE EARTHQUAKE ARE A COMPANY WITH AN APPETITE FOR LIFE’S BIGGEST QUESTIONS.” WHAT’S ON STAGE
CLARE HOLLINGWORTH AND THE SCOOP OF THE CENTURY PaddleBoat Theatre Saturday 16th November 2019
The remarkable true story of fearless and pioneering journalist Clare Hollingworth, celebrated in an interactive, family show bursting with storytelling, songs and the scoop of the century.
AUGUST 29TH 1939 BRITISH JOURNALIST’S BIG SCOOP. Today it is reported that a young, intrepid journalist crossed over the border from Poland to Germany. There, she saw something that would change her life and history forever… PaddleBoat Theatre Company present the tale of fearless journalist Clare Hollingworth. From the busy newspaper offices in London to the frontline during World War II, this is the remarkable true story of one of the most important writers of our time. This globe-trotting and playful family show embarks on the journey of Clare’s life, a life-story which has been forgotten for years. Celebrate the work of a pioneer who changed the mould of journalism, not just for women but for everyone. PaddleBoat Theatre invite you to be journalists and go undercover in a highly interactive show bursting with storytelling, songs and the scoop of the century.
“PADDLEBOAT: YOUNG, ENERGETIC AND INVENTIVE.” THE GUARDIAN, (LYN GARDNER)
Picture credit © Matt Austin. Additional design by Joe Oliver Eason.
FIVE YEARS – Neal Pike Thursday 21st November 2019
A solo show about school, escaping and a world that puts you into boxes. Neal Pike explores identity, community and the parts of him that were shaped by educational needs school
“Let me tell you about Foxwood. A place that my skipping voice would not get me thrown down stairs. Unlike other schools. It was very much like other schools.” From 1998-2002, Neal Pike attended a special educational needs school in Nottinghamshire. ‘Five Years’ is about trying to hold on to a sense of who you are during those messy, brutal and mundane years of adolescence. With warmth and humour that cuts to the bone, Neal Pike explores identity, community and the parts of him that were shaped by Foxwood. Five Years is a Relaxed performance and BSL interpreted. Directed by Matt Miller.
“THE SHOW TALKS OF HUMAN-NESS, OF VULNERABILITY, AND ULTIMATELY OF ESCAPING THOSE BOXES.” DISABILITY ARTS ONLINE
Picture credit © Chris Bishop
FALLEN FRUIT – Two Destination Language Friday 22nd November 2019
A captivating story of love, breaking free and Europe, set against the backdrop of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Home isn’t a place, it’s something we make… 2019: Thirty years after the Cold War, Britain faces departure from the European Union and a turning point in history. 1989: As the Berlin Wall falls, a young girl looks to a future beyond communism, a couple’s love story unravels and 80’s television permeates all. A story of breaking free, breaking up and building a future. In ‘Fallen Fruit’, multi award-winning Two Destination Language bring to life the childhood memories of Bulgarian born Katherina Radeva, in a visually rich show full of extraordinary energy, playfulness and 200 cardboard boxes.
“CHARMING…RADEVA’S STAGE PRESENCE HOLDS IT ALL TOGETHER.” GUARDIAN “A DELICATE SHOW ABOUT TEARING DOWN WALLS AND LIVING WITH THE PAST.” LYN GARDNER
Picture credit © Alex Brenner
KING LEAR – Oddbodies Thursday 28th November 2019
A fast paced, funny, poignant and ultimately heartbreaking production of King Lear as seen though the eyes of his loyal Fool in this one man adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
A one man adaptation of King Lear. Armed with only a drum, a guitar, a knife and a chair, the tragic trajectory of Lear’s demise is presented to you from the point of view of his long suffering and ever loyal Fool. All the characters from this sad and sorry tale are brought to glorious life before your very eyes. Blindness, betrayal, delusion, deceit, love, loyalty, lust and greed – it’s all here in this fast paced, funny, poignant and ultimately heartbreaking production.
“THIS PRODUCTION IS ABOUT AS FAR AWAY FROM ‘TRAD AND BAD’ AS YOU CAN GET, AND IT’S BRILLIANT… HUGELY ENTERTAINING… YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS!” BROADWAY BABY
Picture credit © David Snowden Photography
STEAMED: A DICKENSIAN IMPROVISED CHRISTMAS TALE Closer Each Day Company Friday 13th and Saturday 14th December 2019
Join creators of The Wardrobe Theatre’s cult comedy, ‘Closer Each Day’ for a right-old knees up and some distinctly Dickensian improv in the time of cholera!
Steamed: A Dickensian Improvised Tale – steam ships, steam trains, steamed puddings, hilarious comedy, astonishing drama, endearing orphans and perhaps the odd catchy music hall number! Join creators of The Wardrobe Theatre’s cult comedy, ‘Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera’, for something distinctly Dickensian. Come along for a right old knees-up and enjoy improv in the time of cholera!
“QUICK-WITTED, VERY WATCHABLE ENSEMBLE, RAZOR-SHARP IN TIMING AND DELIVERY.” STAGE TALK
Picture credit © Chelsey Cliff
LIVING SPIT’S SWAN LAKE a co-production by Living Spit & Theatre Orchard Saturday 21st to Tuesday 24th December 2019
The funniest, danciest, water-fowlest microballet the world has ever seen, with the inimitable comic duo, Living Spit, joined on stage by two professional ballet dancers.
Swan Lake. The most famous magical water-based avian ballet ever performed. But expensive, high-brow and normally only at a big city theatre miles away from where you live. Well, not any more! Theatre Orchard and Living Spit have teamed up to make the smallest ballet ever performed (probably) especially for Clevedon’s Theatre Shop. With Howard & Stu joined on stage by two real-live, professional ballet dancers this is a proper ballet in miniature. The dynamic duo have promised to leave the tutus at home but promises are made to be broken… Suitable for anyone aged 6-106 (no older than that please), this promises to be the funniest, danciest, water-fowlest microballet the world has ever seen.
Written by Howard Coggins & Stu Mcloughlin. Directed by Craig Edwards. Choreography by Holly Noble.
“HYSTERICALLY FUNNY… LEFT ME WITH ACHING CHEEKS FROM LAUGHING SO MUCH.” STAGEWON (FOR ‘THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII’)
If you’d like more information about timings, cost and everything else that is going on at the Theatre Shop in Clevedon this autumn, check it out here: http://theatreorchard.org.uk/clevedon/