Latest News

  • Pentabus to live stream performance

    Pentabus Theatre will live stream the final performance of their show "As The Crow Flies"

    Watch Alfie fly for the last time!

    Catch the last performance online this Sunday 30th April at 7.30pm

    We've toured to 9 counties from Devon to Norfolk and performed nearly 40 shows to over 2000 people.

    If you missed us on the road, fear not. We're live-streaming the performance from Leintwardine village hall, straight into your living room.

    Click on the video below to tune in on Sunday!


  • Commissioning Brief for short animation film for Rural Touring schemes

    Invitation to tender for creation of short animation film for two Rural Touring schemes.
    What we do
    Highlights and Arts Alive are two rural touring schemes working across Shropshire and Herefordshire (AA) and Northumberland, parts of County Durham and Cumbria (H). We work with predominantly volunteer run local community venues to programme professional live performances, workshops, big screen films (AA only) and a Contemporary Craft Exhibition (H only).
    What we need
    Highlights and Arts Alive wish to commission a short animated film (Around 2 mins).

    Each scheme already has a short film featuring real promoters which gives background to rural touring which can be seen here: (ArtsAlive) and the below video for Highlights. 

    We have chosen to commission an animation to give a fresh look and to be able to 'top and tail' with titles and logos to make it specific to each scheme, sharing the main section.
    Commissioners will provide content for voiceover or text over (however it is decided) and will work with successful film makers to develop the story line.
    The message
    Both schemes are losing local authority funding and need to get the message across to supporters that there is a new need to generate income via philanthropic donations. Many of our supporters are not aware that we are charities, and many of the benefits of our work are 'soft' e.g. contribute to personal and community wellbeing, so we need to highlight the importance of these issues and give them value.
    This is a new era, we need to educate and motivate our supporters. These include audience members and the general public who are interested in the arts and/or supporting their rural communities
    Key messages:
     Who we are
     What we do
     Why we need money
     How to donate – e.g. donation boxes, online, by post, legacies
     We can double donations (from Arts Council England Catalyst: Evolve Programme) till August 2019
     What you will get from donating – e.g.continued vibrant arts scene in your local community.
    The Work
     Produce a 2min animation film with music and dialogue.
     Agree visual format for film
     Highlights and Arts Alive will provide content. Using content deliver following message in a simple entertaining way:
     Highlights/Arts Alive deliver amazing shows in community spaces.
         - Who makes it happen – Scheme, Promoters, Audience
         - What would we lose without it – Access to great art, opportunities to meet friends and have a great night out in the village hall
         - How you can help. Different ways to donate – online, donation boxes, gift aid, legacies, sponsors, Thank you to supporters
     Meet with scheme representatives to discuss the project and maintain regular email and telephone contact re the development of the project.
    Where will film be used?
     On both scheme’s websites
     Before Flicks screenings (AA)
     On social media FB and Twitter
     At public events
     At promoter gatherings and workshops
     Sent directly to Promoters
    Expressions of interest
    Please respond to the brief by email to by 3 May. We would like to see examples of your work and ideas on how you would interpret the brief.
    The two finished films to be completed by end of September 2017
    The fee will be up to a maximum of £4,000
  • Highlights Rural Touring seek Fundraising Campaign Worker

    Thanks to a recent funding award from the Catalyst: Evolve programme, Highlights is looking for a new staff member to assist us in delivering the outputs of this income generation project.
    The Fundraising Campaign Worker will join our small team currently based in Appleby in Cumbria. They will work as part of a friendly busy small team, there is scope for this post to also work remotely on occasions.
    This is an ideal opportunity for a talented and motivated individual to join a busy and developing arts organisation. We are offering a 6 month contract in the first instance, but envisage this being extended.
    Highlights works with community volunteers across Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland to deliver a programme of high quality live theatre, music, dance, children’s performances and contemporary craft exhibitions in some of the most rurally isolated areas in the country. We work with over 70 village hall venues and deliver over 140 professional live events and six contemporary craft exhibitions per year.
    Our Fundraising Campaign Worker will have a flair for words and like working with creative people.
     Experience in Fundraising
     Managing the income generation campaigns
     Research and identify through Trustfinder likely trusts and foundations to support specific projects. Prepare outline applications
     Assist commission and production of new 'giving focused film'
     Initiate and manage online campaigns for online giving some already in place e.g. Easy Fundraising
     Managing donors via current online systems
     Implementation of legacy giving
     Profile raising of the organisation growing the following and activity on social media, primarily Facebook and Twitter, set up and build following on Instagram
     Manage the promoter training resources
     Support the directors in the new developments
    Key attributes:
     Excellent communicator
     Good writing skills especially in a marketing context
     Competence and creativity in using social media
     Excellent organisational and administrative skills
     Strong time management and administrative skills
     Ability to be self-motivated and work unsupervised
     Ability to work as part of a team
     Excellent IT skills
     Willing to learn and enjoy new challenges
     Ability to work to deadlines.
     Creative thinker with enthusiasm for the arts
     Experience with working with volunteers
    We may be able to offer training in some areas.
    £7,500pa (equivalent of 15 hrs per week)
    Please send an application letter and CV to
    Closing date for applications is May 19th 2017. Interviews June 5/6 th 2017 start date to be agreed.
  • Young people stars of Redcar!

    This April, young people from Redcar are taking to the stage to support one of the leading theatre companies in the country.
    Getting the chance to perform on stage in support of one of the top theatre companies in the country is something that most aspiring young actors can only dream of. However, thanks to Rural Arts Create Tour project, 20 young people from Freebrough Academy are getting the opportunity to do just that.
    Working with the hugely acclaimed Tamasha Theatre company, the young people involved in Rural Arts Create Tour project will spend 4 days together to create their own short performance and will then tour it around local venues as an opening act for Tamasha’s fantastic new show Made in India.
    “This is a really wonderful opportunity for young people to have the chance to experience what it is like to be a professional touring company” says Joe Hennessy, who is the Youth Development Officer at Rural Arts “it’s not only really good fun, but the show they create is always fantastic.
    This show is being bought to Thirsk by arts charity Rural Arts and their performance scheme, ON Tour. ON Tour is the rural touring scheme for North Yorkshire and East Cleveland and since 1999 has brought out high quality, professional performances to rural and community venues all across the county. There have been a number of high profile acts on the ON Tour scheme in recent years including West Yorkshire Playhouse, Pentabus and Farnham Maltings.
    Police Cops has wowed audiences and critics alike since its opening in 2015 – with the Stage calling it ‘Unbeatable’ in their 5 star review, while The New Current called the show ‘Undeniably one of the best comedy shows of 2015.’
    Police Cops is being performed at Thirsk Town Hall on Friday 10th March at 7.30pm. Tickets can be bought online at or by calling 01845 526536. Join the conversation online @ruralarts/#ONTour17