Latest News

  • 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.

  • Countryboy’s Struggle Retour

    Its autumn and the 70 date retour of Countryboy Struggle has started. Working with Contact Theatre in Manchester, Maxwell Golden has kicked off the tour in Lancashire and Wales working with Young Promoter Groups. In addition to the show Maxwell is also running workshops and here are a few comments from those taking part when asked what they enjoyed..."My favourite part was when we did rapping and beatboxing in a group", "how to act with the whole body", "different ways of talking though the throat, chest and stomach", "that when you breathe in you can exhale out too" and the "the session was awesome".

  • NRTF Touring Scheme Tour Diary now open

    NRTF is trialling a new touring scheme tour diary to help facilitate touring schemes sharing of dates.  We have kicked this off with our Jazz Services Touring partnership.  

    If you are interested in booking Christine Tobin or Michael Janisch as part of the Jazz Services Rural Tour - please take a look in the touring scheme tour diary section

    Night Out Wales is looking for partners to bring Sofie Krog Teater from Denmark and  their amazing puppet show The House for a rural tour in autumn 2013 to the UK and has set up an initial tour diary.  If you are interested in joining in with Night Out, please go to now.


  • Successful applicants for the Jazz Services Rural Touring Support Scheme announced

    We are delighted to announce that the Jazz Services Rural Touring Support Scheme is now up and running.  Those who attended the AGM in West Bromwich recently had the chance to meet Christine and Michael and talk about their work.  We are very excited to be working again with Jazz Services on this exciting project.

    Jazz Services write: The Rural Touring Support Scheme is similar to our National Touring Support Scheme, and helps fund bands to go on the road.  However, unlike, the National scheme, the Rural one focuses on smaller local venues in areas less well served by a touring arts scene.  Jazz Services works in conjunction with the National Rural Touring Forum, whose pool of nationally distributed rural promoters are then able to arrange a tour in their area with the successful applicants.  The cost of this tour is covered by the National Rural Touring Forum and Jazz Services.

    The successful applicants for the 2012 Rural Touring Support Scheme are as follows:

    A Thousand Kisses Deep










    Renowned BBC Award winning singer Christine Tobin has been a long time admirer and eloquent interpreter of Leonard Cohen's music.  Cohen is now widely regarded as one ofthe greatest songwriters of the 20th century, and this new project brings together some Cohen staples, previously recorded and performed by Christine, and some new unexplored material. Together with long time collaborators and stellar musicians Phil Robson (guitar) and Dave Whitford (double-bass) they take you on a journey through Cohen's classic repertoire, with a few diversions to admire fellow Canadian songsmiths Joni Mitchell and Rufus Wainwright.  "Christine is inspiring on her own material but she is in a class of her own singing Leonard Cohen." - John L. Walters, The Guardian

    Michael Janisch’s Purpose Built Quartet














    Bassist Mike Janisch originally hails from the American Midwest, but his career path has been truly international. Having settled in London after studying at Berklee and several years based on the east coast of the United States, he has firmly established himself as one of Europe's first-call bass players and a hugely talented bandleader and composer. His debut album 'Purpose Built' was greatly praised on release and confirmed his presence as a major player on the jazz scene, and the band that shares the album's name is completed by Jim Hart on vibes, Paul Booth on saxophone and Andrew Bain on drums.
    As well as these, five more groups were chosen as 'Highly Recommended' for the scheme on the strength of their application.  While they won’t receive the funding, they’ll still be put forward to the NRTF’s national pool of promoters and will have the opportunity to arrange a tour themselves.

    The Highly Recommended artists are:
    • Clark Tracey Quintet, - highly acclaimed drummer and son of the great pianist Stan Tracey (with whom he also plays) leading a fantastic 5-piece.
    • Roller Trio, - Mercury and MOBO award nominated sax/guitar/drums trio playing vibrant mixture of contemporary rock and jazz influences.
    • Tim Whitehead, - leading contemporary tenor and soprano sax player whose ‘Personal Standards’ quartet features piano, bass guitar and percussion.
    • Trevor Watts &  Veryan Weston, - long established piano and saxophone duo comprising two greatly respected free-jazz improvisers
    • Vasilis X - the acclaimed Greek saxophonist leads his own quartet, featuring Nigel Price on guitar