Are empty shops the new metaphoric village green?

Presented by Jeremy Holloway

Jeremy Holloway, 1 September 2012

Those attending included Frankie Anderson and Hannah Silva.

Some introductory questions: Why do performances now tend to happen in theatres when they used to happen out-doors for the whole community? Why do theatres get funding when they can be elitest? Are theatres always accessible to all demographics? Who is art for anyway?

Points raised:

Do performers perform in theatres for the prestige / to be an artist? Why segregate performers?

Can performers create the same effect in an empty shop?

Theatres are known as places where you can an illusion, a suspending of belief. Can this not happen in an empty shop or retail unit?

Lyn Gardiner, are theatres a thing of the past?

Theatres tend to plan top down, i.e. based on funding available

Shops would create a performance / piece of art based on need and community cohesion

Audiences can become participants in workshop performances

Performance in theatres tend to be made for the building / funders and fit those criteria. Shop theatre responds to environmental and cultural criteria, whatever they might be

Shops are a community resource and should be given back to the community if not used for retail trade

Theatre tends to be academic, based in text

Shops can see more than a theatre, they see real life

It is possible to create a relay of performances using many shops

An idea could be a poetry take-away

Squatters rights could mean premises become available for community use if not occupied for a specific reason

On the whole shops are underused, are in a good place to be accessible to a generic demographic, are accessible for people with physical disabilities and are part of a community enironment.


popup shops, empty shops