Latest News

  • Vaccancy: Communications Officer, Highlights Rural Touring Scheme

    Communications Officer (2 days a week) 12 month Contract

    Highlights Rural Touring have an exciting opportunity for a Communications Officer to join our busy team.

    If you are a great communicator with a passion for the arts, They’d love to hear from you.

    The post is 2 days a week based in Appleby. Flexible hours.

    Click here for the job description

    Letters of application and a CV should be emailed to info@highlightsnorth.co.uk

    Closing date: 3 March

    Interviews: w/b 18 March

    If you would like to discuss the role phone the office on 017683 53954

  • Village Halls Week 2019 Poem

    National Rural Touring Forum are celebrating Village Halls week by commissioning a poem by well-known UK Stand-up poet Kate Fox. Kate has written a piece amusingly encapsulating the breadth of events and happenings you might take part in during a week at your local Village Hall. She will premiere the poem by performing it live on BBC radio stations Monday 21st January and via NRTF website.

    Village Halls Week is the brain child of national charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE). NRTF is a part of their week-long campaign to celebrate England’s 10,000 Village Halls. Village Halls are an integral part of rural communities but are often overlooked. This year we think about how Village Halls provide a space for communities to come together, something ever more pertinent with the rising number of people affected by loneliness.

    Rural communities are seeing diminishing services and social areas, such as the closing of pubs and shops. When these community spaces disappear, it becomes harder to connect, meet new people and have that much needed interaction. ACRE & NRTF believe Village Halls play a huge part in tackling these issues, for example providing community shops, performance spaces and pop up pubs where there are none, as well as social groups for older and younger people alike.

    Kate Fox is a British poet, author and comedian. Her solo comedy shows have toured from the Edinburgh Fringe to the Southbank Centre and been broadcast on Radio 4. She lives in North Yorkshire and has recently made two comedy series for BBC Radio 4 called ‘The Price of Happiness’.

    “Some of my best gigs in the past have been rural touring in village halls. The homemade cakes! The friendly & surprisingly diverse audiences! It’s been lovely to be asked to write a poem in celebration of spaces which are more precious now than ever as community spaces are eroded.” Kate Fox
    NRTF support Rural Touring programming and development organisations called Schemes to bring professional performance to rural audiences. Village Halls are widely used in Rural Touring for theatre and dance spaces.

    From the 22 January to the 28 January 2019, every county will see a series of events to bring people together and celebrate these crucial rural spaces.

  • Village Halls Week: 22nd - 28th January

    A celebration of rural communities

    National Charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and their 38 member organisations are running a week long campaign to celebrate England’s 10,000 Village Halls.

    Village Halls are an integral part of rural communities but are often overlooked. Think back over the years; birthday parties, christenings, weddings and funerals. Key moments in our lives – all treading the boards of our Village Halls.

    This year we think about how Village Halls provide a space for communities to come together, something ever more pertinent with the rising number of people affected by loneliness.

    Rural communities in particular are seeing diminishing services and social areas, such as the closing of pubs and shops. When these community spaces disappear, it becomes harder to connect, meet new people and have that much needed interaction.

    ACRE believe Village Halls play a huge part in tackling these issues, for example providing community shops and pop up pubs where there are none, as well as social groups for older and younger people alike.

    From the 22 January to the 28 January 2019, every county will see a series of events to bring people together and celebrate these crucial rural spaces. The campaign is supported by Defra with an appearance in the week from Lord Gardiner of Kimble.

    Events include performances from Ian McMillan, renowned poet and broadcaster and children’s author and illustrator Steve Antony.

    In addition, the NRTF has commissioned stand-up poet Kate Fox to write and perform a piece celebrating village halls.

    For a full list of events visit the ACRE Website.
    www.acre.org.uk

    Ends

    Issued 09 January 2019


    Notes

    #Villagehallsweek (22-28 Jan) is an initiative started by ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England).

    The ACRE Network is formed of ACRE and its members – 38 rural community councils based at county level across England. Many or the RCCs date back 90s years; ACRE was formed in 1987 and is the national voice for the country’s largest rural network, formed of 52,000 grassroots organisations in 11,000 rural communities.

    The Launch Event will be at Little Thetford Village Hall in Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire ACRE will celebrate the history of Village Halls with appearances from Deputy Lieutenant Mrs Jane Lewin-Smith and the City of Ely Town Crier Mrs Avril Hayter-Smith.

    Community Action Suffolk will welcome the support of Defra, with Lord Gardiner of Kimble Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity in attendance.

    Community Action Northumberland welcomes Ian McMillan renowned poet, writer and radio presenter. Ian supported Village Halls Week 2018 by writing ‘A Teapot as big as The Moon’, a poem especially about Village Halls.

    GRCC (Community Action in Gloucestershire) host children’s author and illustrator Steve Antony. Steve will be doing a reading of his new book ‘Amazing’ published January 2019.

    Stand-up poet Kate Fox has been commissioned by the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) to write and perform a poem. The NRTF are the membership organisation for rural touring schemes, working to bring professional performance art to rural audiences. Kate has recently made two comedy series for BBC Radio 4 called ‘The Price of Happiness’ and her comedy shows have toured from the Edinburgh Fringe to the Southbank Centre.

    For a full list of events visit the ACRE Website.
    www.acre.org.uk

  • A Seasonal Sharing of ‘Crossings’

    A SEASONAL SHARING OF
    CROSSINGS
    By Deirdre Kinahan
    14-16 December

    Watch the Crossings Live Capture via:

    www.pentabus.co.uk and www.newperspectives.co.uk

    The powerful and subversive drama Crossings will be broadcast online and available to audiences from 14-16 December to mark the first collaborative tour produced by leading touring theatre companies Pentabus Theatre and New Perspectives.

    Kinahan’s play, which explores the unexpected stories of war past and present, has captivated audiences on its premiere 25 date rural tour across 12 counties (Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Herefordshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire). The online broadcast is designed to celebrate the rural tour, offering even more audiences the chance to get a taste of the intimacy of a village hall performance by broadcasting a performance of Crossings filmed in Lustleigh Village Hall in Devon. The show will be broadcast complete with captions.

    Written by award-winning Dublin-based playwright Deirdre Kinahan (Spinning, These Halcyon Days, Bogboy), Crossings marked the first joint commission from these West and East Midlands based rural companies.

    The cast features: Victoria Brazier whose recent works include The Secret Garden (York Theatre Royal and Theatre by the Lake) Hard Times (Northern Broadsides) and Three Mothers (Waterloo East) and Will O’Connell whose recent theatre includes Class (Traverse Theatre, Galway Arts Festival, Abbey Theatre, Dublin Theatre Festival), Swansong (Kilkenny Arts Festival) and Luck Just Kissed You Hello (HotForTheatre/GIAF/Dublin Theatre Festival). Victoria will play Margaret and Mirjana, and Will plays Grace and Sean. Artistic Director of Pentabus Theatre Company Sophie Motley said: ‘We try to live stream or live capture all of our plays directly from village halls to your computers. It gives you the real sense of the pure joy felt watching rural theatre in a village hall. Deirdre Kinahan’s play is a beautiful, intimate piece of theatre, and we’re thrilled that audiences will be able to watch it again or for the first time from the wonderful Lustleigh Village Hall in Devon!’

     

    Sally Anne Tye, New Perspectives’ Executive Director added: ‘As rural touring champions, making the production available to see online presents an opportunity for audiences who have enjoyed a live performance to view it again and share their experience more widely with friends and family and to offer new audiences the chance to experience a village hall performance wherever they live.’

    The live capture will be available from 4pm on Fri 14 December till midnight on Sun 16 December 2018 via www.pentabus.co.uk or www.newperspectives.co.uk

    Running Time 75 minutes | Recommended for ages 12 +

    Creative Team
    Writer Deirdre Kinahan
    Director Sophie Motley
    Set and Lighting Designer Sarah Jane Shiels
    Sound Designer Helen Skiera
    Costume and Props Carl Davies
    Movement Director Kitty Winter
    Voice and Accent Coach Emma Stevens-Johnson
    Associate Sound Designer Joe Dines
    ENDS/

    Notes for Editors


    About Pentabus


    Pentabus is the nation’s rural theatre company. We are the only professional theatre company in the UK whose vision is singularly rural. We tour new plays about the contemporary rural world to new audiences in village halls, fields, festivals and theatres, telling stories with local relevance and national impact. We believe that every person living in an isolated rural community has a right to exceptional theatre. We are based on a farm in Shropshire, and to date all of our work has been made here. It then tours village halls and theatres locally and nationally. Over four and a half decades we’ve produced 170 new plays, reached over 550,000 audience members, won a prestigious South Bank Show award for our show about racism, a Fringe First for our play about climate change and were the first to live stream from a village hall. We have hosted a writer in residence since 2014 and they have gone on to be commissioned by the Royal Court, Birmingham Rep, Royal Welsh College and the Bush.


    We are a champion for rural young people aged 16 to 25 and we’ll be launching Pentabus Young Company in Spring 2019, a new initiative offering workshops, masterclasses, work experience and mentorships, as well as the opportunity to join our Young Writers’ Group, which has been running for five years. Previous participants of the Young Writers’ Group have had their work presented at Ludlow Fringe, Latitude Festival and Hereford Courtyard. It is a springboard into further study and the arts industry, with over 50% of our Young Writers going on to be published and professional writers.

    About New Perspectives

    New Perspectives is a national touring theatre company based in the East Midlands’ Through an annual programme of original adaptations, rare revivals and new writing, we aim to bring a diverse range of live theatre and performance that is vital, affordable and accessible into the heart of wide-ranging communities, as well as to regional, national and international venues. We believe in:

    • Creating a diverse brand of live theatre that is nationally and internationally recognised as challenging, original and unafraid to take bold creative risks
    • Empowering artists and theatre makers across the region with knowledge, skills and increasing networks through the development of small-scale and rural touring theatre
    • Engaging regional audiences by widening access to high quality live performance regardless of age, social class, ethnicity, gender, disability or geographic location.

    Our work tours nationally and internationally, from small rural village halls to 700 seat theatres. Our mixed economy touring models enable us to tour and programme live performances in the heart of communities, affording opportunities for those with little or no access to other cultural outlets the opportunities to see high quality performances right on their doorstep. Removing barriers of location, age, culture or socio-economic status fuels our ambition to bring audiences into close contact with the highest quality new work.

    We maintain the highest levels of artistry and production values in all our work, and deliver a programme of wide cultural significance and are therefore able to advance the arts through regular critical analysis of the work we create. Our productions are testament to the fact that rural theatre is as relevant, challenging and dynamic as theatre made for any other environment.

    • Twitter: @pentabustheatre | @NPtheatre #Crossings
    • Facebook: PentabusTheatre | @NewPerspectivesTheatreCompany
    • Youtube: www.youtube.com/pentabustheatre | newperspectivesTV
    • Instagram: Pentabustheatrecompany | @nptheatre
    • Further Information can be found at www.newperspectives.co.uk and www.pentabus.co.uk