Theatre Orchard set for £360k windfall from Arts Council England

PUBLISHED: 07:22 18 April 2018

The circus acts thrilled. Picture: Paul Blakemore.

The circus acts thrilled. Picture: Paul Blakemore.


A theatre company has become the first in North Somerset to receive £360,000 of Arts Council England funding.

Theatre Orchard is among more than 100 South West organisations named in the council’s National Portfolio from 2018-2022.

Over the next four years, Theatre Orchard will receive the money to allow it to continue its work at both Weston’s Theatre Tropicana and Theatre Shop in Clevedon.

The funding will also be used to develop an outreach programme for North Somerset.

Theatre Orchard creative director Fiona Matthews said: “We are thrilled to join the National Portfolio.

“From outdoor stages by the sea to indoor spaces in empty shops, from international circus acts to pint-sized shows for pubs, over the past 11 years we have loved the opportunity to build a genuine sense of creative vibrancy in this fantastic region, connecting inspiring artists, places and audiences.

“Over the next four years we look forward to building on this and reaching out to new audiences with a programme of unmissable participation and performance.

“This spring, don’t miss a season of international work in Weston and a host of theatrical gems at Theatre Shop.”

Established in 2007, Theatre Orchard stages performing arts productions in accessible locations including country pubs, gardens and even quarries.

It will also use the money, which will be split into £90,000 per year, to allow disadvantaged people to enjoy and get involved in theatre.

Phil Gibby, Arts Council England area director for the South West, added: “We are delighted to be welcoming Theatre Orchard to our National Portfolio this April.

“By working in areas which traditionally have less arts and cultural provision, Theatre Orchard will help us fulfil our aim of providing great art and culture to everyone.

“We are excited by its commitment to make North Somerset a more dynamic and stimulating place to live, work and visit, and look forward to working with them to achieve this goal.”

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