A unique arts project is set to bring theatrical performances into shops in Burnham-On-Sea this Spring.

Burnham-On-Sea will be transformed on Saturday 16th April when six professional actors stage 48 free live performances in shops across the town centre.

The countdown to the ‘Trading Local’ event starts this month with the first of four free writing workshops in Burnham-On-Sea Library on Saturday 23 January from 10am until mid-day.

Others will be held on February 2nd from 10am-12 noon at Crafty Teacup cafe in Victoria Street; on February 11th from 2-4pm at The Round Tower Guesthouse on The Esplanade; and on February 17th at the Royal Clarence from 7pm-9pm.

The organisers are seeking first time and experienced writers to create five-minute scripts specifically for, and about, the town.

12 will be selected for professional production and audiences, residents, shoppers and visitors will see the results on Saturday 16th April.

Visitors will be able to get a story in the barber’s as well as a haircut; hear a tale in the café as well as their coffee brewing.

Sheila Hannon, Show Of Strength’s Creative Producer, said: “Burnham-On-Sea is a lovely seaside town with great independent shops, and Trading Local is a glorious way to celebrate them. It will be a great day out, and all for free. What’s not to like?’

Drama Practitioner Selina Keedwell added: “This is an excellent opportunity for the community to get involved and celebrate Artistic talent in our town by writing a script.”

“Everyone has a story to tell and I can’t wait to see those stories performed, by professional actors, in our local shops and businesses.”

Project Manager Jacqui Strong said: “I have seen Trading Local in Wells and fell in love with the essence of the day, bringing the chance to work with a professional theatre company and gain new skills which will culminate with an enjoyable full days entertainment to our home town was a must!’

The project is being organised in association with Burnham Community Theatre Group, supported by Burnham-On-Sea & Highbridge Town Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Co-op Funeral Care and Take Art. The group has also involved Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade and Commerce in setting up the event.

The project is also being backed by Burnham-On-Sea Community Theatre group, which was set up in 2015 with thebaim of making the professional theatre experience available to all, to work with everyone in the local community.

An additional project is running alongside within schools and residential homes, encouraging young people to write short stories as part of a competition. The stories will hopefully be shared amongst the residential homes later in the year who may not be able to access the event but would want to be involved.

Pictured: A previous project in Bristol (pic Rosie Tomlinson); centre – the Burnham team; and above Burnham High Street

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