Could theatre save the high street? [VIDEO]

Dan Martin
Former editor
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We've heard all sorts of ideas for reviving British high streets; pop-up shops, gyms and creches are just some of them. But what about theatre?

Earlier today, I joined retail expert Mary Portas in a tour of small retailers in Bristol. The visit was part of her Portas Pilots project through which 12 locations have been given government funding as well as advice aimed at boosting local retail. 

During the two-hour tour, we popped into Ashton Fruit Shop on North Street where, amongst the bananas, apples and pears, we were entertained by an actor from the Show of Strength theatre company.

The company specialises in staging theatre productions inside small stores. They've previously held performances in estate agents, haidressers and bakeries.

It's a brilliant idea for getting people better engaged with their local businesses. Now that Mary Portas has seen it in action, let's hope she spread to the word to the powers that be.

Here's a short video of today's performance watched by Mary Portas. The film contains some flash photography:

About Dan Martin

About Dan Martin

Dan Martin has 10 years experience as a journalist writing about entrepreneurs and the issues that affect them.

After three years working as a researcher for Sky News, he joined as a reporter. This was followed by two years working as news editor for during which time Dan also contributed to Growing Business magazine. In 2006, he joined Sift Media as business editor before being promoted to editor of He also has responsibility for UK Business Forums, the UK’s most active online forums for small business entrepreneurs. In addition, Dan founded The Pitch,'s nationwide competition for small business owners. He host the grand finals in 2009 and 2010 in front of an audience of 300. 

As well as interviewing many entrepreneurs, Dan has written content for leading business organisations such as the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, British Chambers of Commerce, Forum of Private Business, Investors in People and Business Link for London. Among the publications that have quoted Dan are The Times, Mail On Sunday, Financial Times, Personnel Today and Bristol Evening Post. His articles have also been published by publications including eGov Monitor, Virgin Express in-flight magazine and Personal Success.

Dan regularly speaks at events about small business and social media issues. Among the events he has presented at are the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies' annual conference, Learning Technologies, Publishing Expo and World of Learning. He has also chaired high profile debates featuring senior representatives from Business Link and the Federation of Small Businesses and Dragons' Den judge James Caan.

Dan was named the 10th most influential political blogger on Twitter by the Independent and won the public award for best B2B tweeter at the Golden Twits 2010. He also organised the Bristol Twestival, part of a global Twitter driven charity initiative, in February 2009 and March 2010. Volunteers from 175 cities around the world organised events using the social network. In total, $350,000 was raised for charity: water in 2009 and $500,000 for Concern in 2010. In Bristol, £1,500 and £5,600 was raised.


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