It was 2011. Big Telly had been going for nearly 25 years, based in Portstewart and touring throughout Ireland, the UK and internationally with theatre shows as well as site specific work, the largest being a version of The Little Mermaid set in swimming pools which played to over 30.000 people across the world. And then someone offered us an empty shop on the main street and everything changed. After that instead of making large projects with a two year lead in we started employing actors to ‘make something happen’, and we made work that lasted 5 minutes and pieces which were durational, we were trying to create a space which people would walk past because something might happen. Our Creative Shops project takes place across NI and has been going for 9 years now, employing on average 200 creatives a year and circumventing gatekeepers and traditional routes.