Latest News

  • Introducing our new touring scheme member, The Theatre Orchard

    We are delighted to welcome The Theatre Orchard as a new touring scheme member.  The Theatre Orchard is a network of approximately 20 venues including pubs, community centres,  manor houses, village halls and outdoor spaces.  Working out of Bristol, The Theatre Orchard works largely in North Somerset.

    Becky Chapman writes "We are at the beginning, so part of what we are doing is supporting the venues to take the first step in programming and training new venues to have the confidence to choose and promote work. We also helping them to see how working as a group provides practical and economic benefits. In November we worked with Farraows Creative to help them get them on top of things in terms of marketing and social media.

    In 2012 we toured four shows: two weeks in June and September and two short weeks in November. This year we are about to tour a week of a In Cider Story, a new show for pubs, a week of Wild Girl to outdoor spaces and a week of music and story telling to village halls. We have started to build new partnerships with a few of the existing venues who are offering us rehearsal space in return for preview performances and with whom we want to work more deeply, bringing artists to work in residence in their spaces.

    At the moment we are selecting work and working with venues to broaden audiences. Later tin 2013, we'll be working with Bristol Festival of Puppetry and aim to enable promoters to see puppetry that is outside their usual experience, to broaden their expectations of what puppetry can be and develop the confidence to advocate for that work. Alongside this activity we hope to be running training for play workers to train in puppetry skills to bring the art form into contacct with communities at a local level.

    We would also like to enable our North Somerset volunteer base who work on our touring scheme, which is largely comprised of young, unemployed residents, to start to become more familiar with shows that are touring in the SW region so that again, they can become more informed and start to contribute to the programming of work in our area.

    Go Sees in 2013 will enable venues to broaden their offer and local people to start building their knowledge and expertise in a wider range of performance. Our network is very new and there is scant history of touring work in North Somerset. Our touring scheme needs to experience diverse forms and staging of performance in order to develop bigger and broader audiences. Any opportunties for them to get out there and see first hand the great touring work available would be brilliant."

  • City Circ announces ‘Circus Now’  a free Showcase of Circus Work 17th - 19th April

    The City Circ network, London’s premier network of venues supporting the development and presentation of circus shows, is proud to be presenting ‘Circus Now’, a showcase of UK Circus Work from the 17th -19th April 2013. The showcase will be hosted by the core members of the network: the Roundhouse, Jacksons Lane, the Albany, artsdepot and Stratford Circus in partnership with major London producers Crying out Loud, Turtle Key Arts and the National Centre for Circus Arts Circus Space as well as Sideshow Circus Magazine. The event has received support from ACE through the Grants for the Arts programme and is a continuation of a first networking meeting held during CircusFest 2012 at the Roundhouse.

    The showcase will present a range of contemporary UK based artists and work, from tour ready and finished to work in progress presentations, pitching sessions and an artsmarket. Work will be of various scales and suitable for a wide range of venues and audiences. Contrary to expectations, circus work can be very self sufficient and adaptable to touring in different spaces. A lot of companies are interested in touring to rural areas or making more connections to venues and events where they are based locally.

    This is just a first Save the Date Email - I'm attaching an e-flyer fyi. I have a lot of contacts from your website, but if there is a way that you could help to spread the word through your network would be much appreciated. A related website with more information will be up and running shortly.

    Attendance of the showcase will be free, however delegates will have to cover their own travel and accommodation, food and tickets for the events will be provided free of charge. There are a small number of travel bursaries available to venues/programmers who have little or no funding available.

    If you have any questions regarding the event, please do not hesitate to get in touch with:


    Flora Herberich

    City Circ Showcase Co-ordinator

    mob: +44 (0)7903 960997
    twitter: @circus_flora

  • 2013 Flying Solo Artist Commission: NRTF and Contact Theatre Partnership

    This March the Flying Solo Festival returns for a week of amazing live art, spoken word and theatre.

    Contact Theatre are excited to announce as part of the Flying Solo Festival we are offering two artists commissions for those aged 18+.

    12 shortlisted participants for Flying Solo 2013 will receive: A week of development masterclasses with industry experts and this year's Flying Solo Festival performers. Successful applicants will then pitch publicly in front of an audience and judges on Sat 9 March.

    Successful applicants to both commissions receive:

    Flying Solo Commission - International Collaboration:
    You receive £3000 cash, mentoring and producing support, rehearsal space and the opportunity to develop and perform a new solo show in Amsterdam and London before bringing it back to Manchester for Flying Solo Festival 2014.

    Flying Solo Commission - Strategic Rural Touring:
    You receive £3000 cash, mentoring and producing support, rehearsal space and the opportunity to develop and perform a new solo show suitable for ages 13+, before bringing it back to Manchester for Flying Solo Festival 2014, and touring the show nationally in 2014 and 2015. There will also be a collective offer from the rural touring sector which will include mentoring, access to rehearsal space, dramaturgical support, fundraising support, showcase opportunities and the opportunity to meet Rural Touring Schemes at the NRTF Annual Conference 2013 (TBC).

    To apply please state which (or both) commission you are interested in and answer the following questions:

    Flying Solo Commission: International Collaboration: Presented in partnership with Contact, MC Theatre and The Albany. In association with Fuel Theatre.

    Why do you want to collaborate internationally?
    Why is it the right time for you to fly solo?

    Flying Solo Commission: Rural Touring: Presented in partnership with Contact, the National Rural Touring Forum, Cheshire Rural Touring Network, Spot On Lancashire, Take Art and Beaford Arts.

    Why do you want to do rural touring?
    Why is it the right time for you to fly solo?

    Send your answer, along with examples of your work to: by Mon 11th Feb 2013. The file size limit is 5mb. For more information, please contact Teresa East on 0161 274 0611.

    Supported by Contact in collaboration with MC Theatre, Fuel Theatre, The Albany, the National Rural Touring Forum, Cheshire Rural Touring Network, Spot On Lancashire, Take Art and Beaford Arts.

  • NRTF Conference 2013 showcase application process announced.

    On the 8th, 9th and 10th July 2013 the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) and North East Arts Touring (NEAT) will host the annual rural touring conference and showcase.

    As rural touring gains prominence and the NRTF grows in size and membership, we are working with our colleagues in Scotland to bring delegates from across the UK, and further afield, to the Macrobert Centre in Stirling for 3 days of showcases, workshops, debate, discussion and networking.

    Showcasing is a vitally important part of the conference, enabling touring schemes, venues and voluntary promoters to sample shows, see work, share experiences with other promoters and broaden their knowledge of work available. It is also a fabulous opportunity for companies to highlight the quality and style of their work; and also gives opportunity to talk directly with touring schemes and start meaningful relationships and dialogue.

    As Scotland will host NRTF 2013 we will be predominantly showcasing work from Scottish companies. In order to achieve this we have up to 10 showcase/pitching slots specifically for companies and artists from across Scotland. We will be seeking to showcase theatre, dance and music of all types.

    The showcase programme will be selected by a working group of National Rural Touring Forum, North East Arts Touring (NEAT), The Touring Network (Highlands & Islands) and Federation of Scottish Theatres (FST) and they will prioritise companies that are developing work ready to tour to UK rural venues in the next 12-18 months.

    Take Part
    All work featured at the showcase will be selected on the basis of quality and appropriateness for the rural market. We are looking for bold and exciting work from a diverse range of artists practising across the genres of theatre, dance, music and live art who fall into one or more of the following categories:

    • Emerging artists/companies keen to be introduced to the network
    • More experienced companies as yet unknown to the network but interested in making the
    • Companies already known to the network whose practice is moving in a new and exciting

    NRTF members and scheme managers are feeding into the NRTF Conference programme and have been asked to nominate companies that they would like to see taking part in the showcase event.

    Companies and performers wishing to be considered must be nominated by a touring scheme or a promoter with whom a relationship exists, and partners can go to for references.

    The programme will include work presented as a pitch or in excerpt, no full shows will be presented.

    Companies and their shows, wishing to be considered must be:

    • Available to showcase an extract not more than 20 minutes on 8, 9 or 10 July 2013
    • Nominated by Touring Scheme or Promoter who is familiar with their touring work
    • Suitable for rural touring – size, cost, technical, quality
    • Based in Scotland and available to tour throughout the UK 2014 onwards

    How to Apply
    No company or performer will be considered for showcasing at the NRTF conference 2013 without completing the application form (available to download to the right of this article) which must be returned to no later than 28th February 2013.

    We ask that all submissions are clearly marked NRTF Showcase 2013 in the subject line.

    All applications will be considered by a short listing panel of NEAT, The Touring Network (Highlands & Islands), FST and NRTF. This collective will make the final decisions with regard to the showcase by the end of March 2013, at which point companies will be contacted directly.

    The consortia are keen to involve as many people as possible in the showcase; however, due to time and funding restrictions, we do not envisage being able to provide any more than 10 showcase slots. We regret that it may not be possible to follow up all companies and that we will be unable to give feedback on work submitted for consideration.