Once again Theatre Shop Clevedon have done us proud with their exciting new summer programme which includes collaboration with the Clevedon Literary Festival https://www.clevedonliteraryfestival.uk and grants from Clevedon Town Council to kick off the summer holidays with two, free, outdoor family shows in Queen’s Square, just outside the Theatre Shop.
There’s a show tackling the issue of coercive control which shockingly only became illegal in 2015; a wonderful piece of meta-theatre; historical drama; cabaret storytelling; some darkly comic Covid era monologues; a performance from the winner of the Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Performer 2021; the insights of an undercover journalist whose work inspired his novel-writing; stories from Ancient Greece; high jinks from Living Spit with their story of Elizabeth I and much, much more.
This programme feels as though it’s Theatre Shop’s biggest season yet and I for one am very excited. Read on for details of the shows, times, prices, trailers, reviews and links to book your tickets!
FRIDAY 6TH MAY EVERYTHING I DIDN’T SAY FROM ON THE RUN
The doors open at 7.00pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. The age recommendation is 16+ and the running time is 60mins with no interval. The ticket price is £15 and you can book here: https://bit.ly/3O34AdW
On The Run devise and create work that challenges preconceived ideas in society. Their shows have tackled issues such as: grief, bereavement, coercive control and being a carer.
Everything I Didn’t Say is a one-woman theatre piece that explores coercive control. It follows lead character Meadow Rain as she endeavours to reconnect with her closest friend, after leaving an abusive relationship. Through flashbacks, audience participation and movement, the show unpicks abuse that is non-violent, highlighting the manipulation, isolation and turmoil a victim can experience. The show also explores the effect of abuse on a victim’s wider community and the supportive role of friends and family.
“Meadow Rain would like to say sorry. Sorry for disappearing. Sorry for being a bad friend. And sorry for calling her best friend a rude word. She’s also sorry for keeping secrets. Secrets about Terry. Secrets she is now ready to reveal…”
Everything I Didn’t Say (previously titled The Rebirth of Meadow Rain) at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 was developed with support from Shoreditch Town Hall and partnered with UK says no more, a national campaign to raise awareness to end domestic abuse and sexual violence across the UK. https://uksaysnomore.org
‘This production blew me away…moving, intimate and expertly performed‘ Scottish Wome’s Aid
‘A subtle sucker-punch of a show‘ The List
SATURDAY 7TH MAY JIM CLAPP’S MAGNUM OPUS
The doors open at 7.00pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. The age recommendation 12+ The ticket price is £15 and you can book here: https://bit.ly/3EcMFNL
Jim Clapp brings his latest and greatest production, Magnum Opus to the Theatre Shop. It’s opening night and someone from Radio 4 is in. However, the actors have dropped out last minute and his extravagant set is burning on the M4. Jim has put the last of his money into this show and with his old contacts ignoring his calls, or dead, this is his last chance. The show must go on. With the help of us, the audience.`
‘Extremely entertaining, very daring and utterly funny piece of theatre’ FringeReview
‘It will make you believe in the magic of theatre’ Milk and Blood Theatre
‘A night of laughter’ Hornchurch Life
THURSDAY 12TH MAY LUKE WRIGHT
The doors open at 7.00pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. The age recommendation is 14+ and the running time is 1 hr 50 including the interval. You can book here: https://bit.ly/3ustbBt
WINNER Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Performer 2021
Whether he’s opening for the Libertines or reciting Georgian ballads down your local, Luke Wright is adept at taking poetry places it doesn’t normally go. John Cooper Clarke’s regular warm-up guy writes poems that are tender, riotous, caustic and romantic then delivers them with the ferocity and panache of a raconteur at the top of his game.
This is an ALL-NEW show with deliciously funny poems set against a backdrop of pandemic politics, ageing parents, and the endless, droning culture war.
Wright’s third collection The Feel-Good Movie of the Year is out now from Penned in the Margins. Ian Duhig calls it:
“a terrific new book: subtle, nuanced and movingly personal. A hurt man taking stock in fresh words.”
“Luke Wright is one of the greats. A poetic pugilist. Beguiling and hypnotic.” Carl Barât
‘His performances rumble with rage, passion and humour.‘ Guardian
‘He must be on some kind of dope‘ John Cooper Clarke
FRIDAY MAY 13TH JEREMIAH FROM JACK DEAN AND COMPANY
The doors open at 7.00pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. The age recommendation is 14+ and the running time is 1 hr 50 including the interval. You can book here https://bit.ly/3O34XFm
A raucous rebellious gig theatre show about a forgotten part of British history.
On the 9th of June 1817, Jeremiah Brandreth assembles a crew of malcontents in a pub near Nottingham. Their plan is to march on London, overthrow the government, wipe out the National Debt and end poverty forever. What Jeremiah doesn’t know is that there is a spy in his ranks with other ideas…
Jeremiah tells the incredible true story of the much-misunderstood Luddite rebellion – a movement that spanned the whole of northern England and had more British soldiers fighting it than Napoleon. Ever thought about a House of Lords debate staged as a rap battle? Accompanied by a cellist, violinist and guitarist fusing hip hop beats with cinematic orchestration the story is told through the lens of the life of Jeremiah Brandreth, the instigator of the Luddites’ final stand and the last man in British History to be beheaded by axe for High Treason.
‘Impressive poetic, musical and narrative skills… undoubtedly a performer with an exciting career ahead of him’ Exeunt
THURSDAY 19TH MAY THE BEAST IN ME FROM THE DEVIL’S VIOLIN
The doors open at 7.00pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. The age recommendation is 10+. You can book here: https://bit.ly/38F7Tbf
Imagine a world where the lines separating humanity and animals have blurred, in which dark forests contain refuge as well as danger, and where blood is not always thicker than water.
The Devil’s Violin is Daniel Morden (story), Oliver Wilson-Dickson (violin) and Sarah Moody (cello). Their new show, The Beast In Me, is a masterfully woven tapestry of stories about our perception of beauty and the value of kindness.
‘In years to come, old friends will turn to one another and reminisce about this evening, reliving the pleasure of when The Devil’s Violin comes to town with their 21st century sensibilities enhancing the ancient craft of storytelling.’ Avril Silk
‘A scintillating combination of music, sound and story’ The Times
SATURDAY 21ST MAY THE SLOW SONGS MAKE ME SAD FROM CHLOE BEEZER AND LITTLE MIGHTY
The doors open at 7.00pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. The age recommendation is 14+. You can book here: https://bit.ly/3vdGC7w
A rollicking night of cabaret storytelling about post-natal depression??!!
Ten years ago, Chloe started writing a show. It was RAZAMATAZZ. It had a clown, and songs, and something about a grand piano.
But then she had kids (which was tricky) and life got in the way. And that show never quite made it through.
Now she’s a decade older, Chloe’s decided she’s going to make her comeback and finish it off. This is her chance to make a mark. To deal with the Big Stuff. To leave an inheritance for when she’s gone.
With a cheeky glint in its eye and a steely determination to talk about all the things you’re meant to keep quiet, The Slow Songs Make Me Sad blends together hilarious clowning, heartfelt storytelling and raucous cello songs.
‘The warmth and intimacy of Chloe’s storytelling style made for a thoroughly enjoyable work-in-progress sharing. The autobiographical nature of the content, combined with the live underscore and charming delivery created a truly endearing performance and I’m excited to see the next steps.’ Alison Ford, Programmer, Square Chapel Arts Centre
SATURDAY 28TH MAY THE GREAT BIG STORY MIX-UP FROM ROUSTABOUT THEATRE
There are two shows at 11.00am and 2.00pm. The age recommendation is 3+ and the running time is 60mns. The ticket price is £8 and you can book here: https://bit.ly/3rfGcMC
The Great Big Story Mix Up is an improvised play for children and adults that puts the audience in the centre of the action:
- choose characters, costumes and props
- select story lines, settings and scenes
- blow the Horn of Song and the Trumpet of Dance
- watch as our troupe of storytellers create never-before-seen fairy tales, right in front of your eyes
As well as being performed in person, there is an online version of The Great Big Story Mix Up, just as live, just as interactive, and just as silly, featuring drawings from children in the audience turned into animated sets!
‘Appealing, engaging fun!’ The Stage
‘Fantastic fun for all the family’. The Family Stage
FRIDAY 10TH JUNE THEATRE SHOP CLEVEDON AND CLEVEDON LITERARY FESTIVAL: PEOPLE ARE CATS, PEOPLE ARE DOGS FROM STEPPING OUT THEATRE
The doors open at 7.00pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. The age recommendation is 16+. You can book here: https://bit.ly/3jsLqA4
Founded in Bristol in 1997, and with 87 productions to their credit, Stepping Out Theatre are the country’s leading mental health theatre company working with theatre professionals and mental health service users to bring compelling human stories alive on stage. https://www.steppingouttheatre.co.uk
After moving all their work online throughout the pandemic, this is their first post – lockdown physical production and consists of five darkly comic Covid era monologues, created by Bristol writer Mark Breckon. Dark satire runs through these linked female monologues from dystopian, Covid haunted nightmares of dogs, cats and giant beetles to the excruciating cringes that sometimes come from working in theatre. Snappy, tightly woven, and occasionally hilarious, this show is a foretaste of the play’s trip to the Edinburgh Fringe later in the season.
Some audience quotations:
‘Witty dialogue . . plenty of surprises, energy, enthusiasm, performers really engaged with audience, fun throughout!’
‘Really well written and acted, not a hint of pretension – very enjoyable and great for all audiences, including the theatre fraternity! Refreshingly devoid of sophistry!’
‘Pivoted beautifully from humour to sadness to the occasionally shocking moment. Original and engaging series of pieces.’
‘I found the production very funny, moving and brilliantly paced. I loved the playful use of objects and the comic timing. I left with a big smile on my face. I liked the happy ending!’
SUNDAY 12TH JUNE THEATRE SHOP CLEVEDON AND CLEVEDON LITERARY FESTIVAL: FACT INTO FICTION – HOW ADVENTURE TRAVEL AND UNDERCOVER JOURNALISM INSPIRED THRILLER-WRITING FROM E.M. DAVEY.
The doors open at 10.30am and the show starts at 11.00am. The age recommendation is 12+ and the running time is 60mns. The ticket price £15 and you can book here: https://bit.ly/3rbbDYk
Ed decided on the use of the pseudonym E.M Davey, after being confused on one too many occasions with Ed Davey MP.
Ed is a novelist and investigative reporter specialising in undercover journalism to expose environmental crime and international corruption. He’s worked on investigations for BBC programmes such as Panorama and Newsnight. His thrillers mash up history and 21st century espionage, blurring the lines between reality and fiction.
His career as an undercover journalist has landed him in some sticky spots. He’s tracked down a corrupt supergrass in Brazil. He’s been chased by an enraged hippopotamus in Sierra Leone. He’s posed as a commodity trader to expose human rights abuses on palm oil plantations in Papua New Guinea, driven along the porous border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, and faced the threat of being ‘spiritually destroyed’ by voodoo priests in Benin. He also has a lifelong love of history, devoting his spare time to visiting archaeological sites around the world. Now Davey describes how his work – and deep understanding of modern espionage techniques – inspired a series of well-received action thrillers. Because sometimes, truth is indeed stranger than fiction…
SUNDAY 12TH JUNE THEATRE SHOP CLEVEDON AND CLEVEDON LITERARY FESTIVAL: THE SUPER GREEDY CATERPILLAR FROM WILD WORDS – 2.30PM PLAYSHOP 3.15PM PERFORMANCE
The doors open at 2.00pm. Age recommendation 5+. The ticket price is £8 and you can book here: https://bit.ly/3639tCU
Want to see puppets behaving badly; a man wearing fairy wings; and a 6 foot caterpillar who wants to eat the entire supermarket including your granny?!
Want to hear toe tapping tunes to dance to; singalong songs to join in with; and other silly serious business? Wild Words aka Scruff and Ratty ably assisted by humans Michael Loader and Tom Veck bring you their new show and what is sure to be a new freaky family favourite with a serious message about the Environment…
The Super Greedy Caterpillar! Two funny puppets, two desperate men, live song and music, an undersized trumpet an oversized grub, glorious family theatre, participation galore and one giant Un-Eco friendly beast!
SATURDAY 18TH JUNE THE ODYSSEY FROM DAVID MYNNE
The doors open at 7.00pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. The age recommendation is 12+ and the running time is 70mns. You can book here: https://bit.ly/3xcA0J3
DAVID MYNNE is an actor and designer based in Penzance, Cornwall. He is a founder member of Kneehigh and has worked with the company – as a performer, maker and graphic designer – on and off for the last 35 years, appearing in many of their productions.
Greek stuff (sex, swords, sandals) and all the boring bits removed! From the makers of ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Dracula’ and ‘The Canterbury Tales’ comes a tale more exciting than excitement itself.
To Hell and back again. Gods and Monsters. And a love story that lasts decades.
A host of characters – including a one-eyed Cyclops, Circe the Sexy Sorceress and the terrifying Sea God Poseidon – will conjure up a mighty storm and keep you on the edge of your seat.
Script (very loosely adapted from various translations): Simon Harvey, David Mynne and some lovely poetry from Anna Maria Murphy
‘Utterly compelling & laugh-out-loud funny.’ The List
‘With one man, four boxes and a piece of blue cloth David Mynne conjures up the saga of Odysseus as he uses the Trojan horse to take the city of Troy, defeats the gargantuan Cyclops and narrowly rescues his beloved wife Penelope from the hands of an interloper. Liberally sprinkled amongst the traditional narrative are numerous surreal detours and side adventures casually thrown in to raise a laugh and move the story along. This is Play School for grown ups.’ Paul Towers London Pub Theatres
MONDAY 27TH JUNE TOTHURSDAY 7TH JULY ELIZABETH 1 VIRGIN ON THE RIDICULOUS FROM LIVING SPIT
The doors open at 7.00pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. The age recommendation is 12+ and the running time is 70mns. You can book here: https://bit.ly/375miNi
1558. England. A country divided by religion and politics, teetering on the brink of civil war. The hopes of the nation lie with one woman.
2020. England. A country divided by those who enjoy plays featuring men in dresses and those who don’t. The hopes of the nation lie with two West-Country actors.
Yes, that’s right. By popular demand (and the fact that they can’t be bothered to write a new show) Elizabeth’s back! The third of Living Spit’s (un)Holy Trinity of hilarious heritage historiographies is go as Howard and Stu attempt to tell the story of the greatest monarch that ever lived – Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen.
With more live original music, silly songs, smutty shenanigans, perfunctory props, and hysterically historical horseplay, this promises to be (another) poorly researched lesson in Tudor history that you’ll never forget.
‘A case study of sinewy simplicity and honed comedy craftsmanship.‘ The Stage
‘Side-splittingly funny.’ StageTalk Magazine
‘The Morecambe and Wise of Weston-Super-Mare. The Telegraph
THEATRE SHOP CLEVEDON: FREE OUTDOOR SHOW WITH A GRANT FROM CLEVEDON TOWN COUNCIL : ERNIE’S JOURNEY FROM CLEMENTINE’S LIVE ARTS
What a lovely way to start the school holidays and there’s no need to book, just turn up to Queen’s Square home of the Theatre Shop. The performance starts at 12.30pm and the free circus skills workshop starts at 2.00pm. The age recommendation is 4+
Ernie’s Journey is a magical circus theatre adventure for family audiences. The seamless integration of circus, physical theatre, story-telling, stage magic, poetry and puppetry will nurture and excite your inner-child.
An original live concert-harp score takes the tale from the dreamy realms of distant shores to the most raucous sea shanties! It felt like nobody really believed in Ernie and sometimes he wondered whether he even believed in himself.
He discovers that being himself and following his dreams can lead to all kinds of adventures but it is the people we love who make it all worth it.
TUESDAY 26TH JULY FREE OUTDOOR SHOW WITH A GRANT FROM CLEVEDON TOWN COUNCIL: THE SHODESSEY FROM ASSEMBLETH THEATRE
A second free show to start the school holidays and once again no need to book, just turn up to Queen’s Square home of the Theatre Shop. The show starts at 6.00pm and the age recommendation is 8+
A second free show to start the school holidays and once again, there’s no need to book, just turn up to Queen’s Square home of the Theatre Shop. The performance starts at 6.00pm and the age recommendation is 8+.
Troy – Something BC. A young bull herder accidentally eats a golden apple. Three Goddesses aren’t happy. And then 10 years later a city burns.
Obviously, a lot happened in between these points and several important things happened before, all of which will be shown for the first time in well over a millennium as Assembleth Theatre take you on a journey through the Trojan War as you’ve never seen it before. The sort-of truth behind Achilles heel, the golden watermelon of Paris, the twelve accidental labours of Hercules and more will be revealed as the history of one of the most important conflicts of the ancient world comes to life.
I’m sure you’ll agree, there really is something for everyone!
Their address is Unit 5 Queen’s Square Clevedon BS21 6HX and they are in the pedestrianised square behind B&M Bargains, tucked between Superdrug and Boots.