Villagers tread the boards

AN exciting new theatre project, which will see drama groups set up in eight North Somerset villages, has been launched. The Theatre Orchard Project aims to set up and encourage small groups of would be thespians across the district to tread the boards. T

AN exciting new theatre project, which will see drama groups set up in eight North Somerset villages, has been launched.The Theatre Orchard Project aims to set up and encourage small groups of would be thespians across the district to tread the boards.The initiative was set up following a national theatre review by the Arts Council England (ACE) which revealed North Somerset had a lack of theatre centres and drama groups.Money has now been awarded by ACE to set up theatre workshops in Weston, The Bournville Estate, Yatton, Churchill, Backwell and Nailsea, Clevedon, Portishead and Pill. The workshops will be run by professional performers, writers, storytellers and actors. The final pieces of work will be performed next summer.The second part of the project will culminate in a large scale open air community performance in early summer 2008 involving all those who have took part.It also hoped to recruit an apprentice in each of the areas to work alongside professionals and learn the practical skills needed to make theatre with local communities.A Theatre Orchard Project spokesman said: "This is a project for people of all ages and generations, for those who have never been involved in the arts and for those who have."Some people may not want to perform but to contribute to the project in other ways, including backstage help."By working at grass roots level within local communities, we hope to seed new groups making new work so that North Somerset becomes a cultural hub in its own right, rather than a satellite of nearby Bristol."In doing so, we will also increase opportunities for professional theatre practitioners and artists who live in North Somerset to work here too."Taster sessions are being held at Churchill School and at Yatton Library on November 30 from 3-7pm.There will also be a drop in session where people can register their interest in the scheme at the Curzon Cinema, Clevedon on December 11 from 9.30-11.30am and 6.30-8pm.Anyone wanting more information can contact Jane Bassett on 01275 810995 or e-mail jane.bassett@n-somerset.gov.uk


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