Latest News

  • RTDI Company Profile: Find out more about bgroup

    Each month we'll be profiling one of this seasons Rural Touring Dance Intiative companies! First up we have bgroup who won the first ever RTDI comission to make a dance show specifically for rural touring.

    What are you most looking forward to?

    A warm welcome for the most part wink Point of Echoes is an exciting return for us to touring work in the UK. After spending the last three years choreographing more large scale work for Opera and Theatre stages in Sweden, this challenge of developing an intimate work specifically conceived to work in non-theatre spaces has been extremely engaging. We are looking forward to the proximity of performing up close to our audiences whilst retaining certain epic proportions within the production.

    What have you packed in readiness for rural locations?

    An area Press coffee maker, a full bag of Huel ‘nutritionally complete food’, oh and a van packed dot the hilt with set costume and lights.

    How do you think it will be different from touring to towns?

    I guess it’s the intimacy of the communities involved. We have already been bumping into individuals here in Langport who came to see one of out dress rehearsals, I like the immediacy of the conversation that can ensue. In many ways it feels like the circus has come to the village and it is exciting to be at the hub of that curiosity.

    Can you sum up your show in 3 words ?

    Kinetic creepy storytelling.

    What would you say to anyone who has never seen dance /theatre?

    Don’t come with preconceived ideas. We have developed a show that draws on the full spectrum of my working experience and curiosities. Point of Echoes is blend of genres and disciplines. Although the work is based on a script by Stuart Warwick our storytelling methods drift between movement, song and spoken word. I am interested in working expansively, creating a sense of boundlessness, the categorisation of the show is less interesting to me than getting an engaged and curious audience involved. Think an episode of Tales of the Unexpected or The Twilight Zone performed by dancers.

  • 2018 Applause Outdoors - Commission Opportunities


    New commission opportunities for Outdoors work

    In summer 2018, Applause Rural Touring will be programming outdoor performances into existing, locally organised village fetes, community events and Festivals in Kent and Sussex. These events take place almost exclusively at weekends from May to September.

    They are looking to commission companies/artists with an established interest and track record of working outdoors and interactively who would like to be part of this programme.

    All work should entertain and engage audiences, be self-sufficient (i.e. not require technical or other support/involvement by the host organisation) and be able to be accessed by diverse, non-age specific audiences. They can be walk about or static productions but they are intended to suit a range of time frames(i.e. does not require the audience to arrive at a certain time and remain for a set amount of time). 

    For 2018 we are also looking to commission one new outdoor work inspired by spoken word that we can tour as part of our Inn Crowd project that brings exceptional live events to rural/community pubs –

    We are offering the following opportunities and expect to take out between 6-8 shows this season:

    • 1 x Inn Crowd (spoken word inspired outdoor work) - commission fee between £3000 - £6000
    • AO new commissions for outdoor works – commission fees between £3000 - £8000
    • AO reshaping/development awards for existing works that requires some reshaping to tour rurally – development fees between £500 - £2500

    For full details on the application process, including information for companies, and application forms visit 

    Deadline 5pm Sunday 1st October


  • News for Villages in Action Rural Touring Promoters, Artists and Rural Audiences in Devon

    Following the announcement of Villages in Action withdrawing from organising  rural touring in Devon and the closure of the office in May 2017, Carn to Cove, the rural touring scheme  in Cornwall has, at the invitation of the Board of Trustees of ViA,  stepped in  to run a caretaker season for  the  Autumn of this year and Spring of 2018.  The three Devon district councils which are the current stalwart funders of ViA - Teignbridge, East Devon and West Devon - welcomed this initiative to preserve a vibrant community resource. 

    The team at Carn to Cove (Tim Smithies and Claire Marshall) invited all Devon villages to a presentation evening in April and from the 16 Devon village promoters who attended and others who were circulated, events have already been booked for the Autumn.   A full “menu” for the Spring 2018 will be presented to villages in September.

    Tim Smithies,  Project Director at Carn to Cove.  said “This is a temporary solution to preserve an important arts network and a volunteer resource developed over many years and we are hoping to explore longer term solutions  which will keep Devon’s villages “in the rural touring loop” in the next few months.    This network provides jobs, rural economic activity, social benefit, artistic excellence and joy for many remote communities – we thank the funders and the volunteers who are sticking with us. ” 

    Catherine Devenish, Chair of the ViA Trustees said “We are very grateful that Carn to Cove have stepped in to run this caretaker season and we look forward to working with them. The ViA board believes that this is a great opportunity which will secure the future of rural touring and continue to support rural communities in Devon, as well as being an exciting development for the arts sector in the South West.”

    The intention is to produce a distinct programme of events, and maintain the current ViA website to publicise upcoming events. For the 2017/18 season, there will be direct financial support for Devon

    villages where the three councils continue to support arts events at local level.  All other villages in ViA that would like to can book artists can do so but for the present without subsidy or risk share.  All

    ViA promoters will be invited to a “Menu Party” which will take place on 26th September at Blisland Village Hall in East Cornwall (close to the A30) and on 27th September at 7pm at Stockland Village Hall in East Devon  outlining  the support we can offer.

    Performing artists wishing to be considered for inclusion in the September menu (for the January – June 2018 ViA and Carn to Cove season) should contact the Carn to Cove office on 01209 312500.

  • Programme update for Being Bold and last chance to book your place at the NRTF conference

    If you’re not booked yet – book today!

    A final reminder that this year’s NRTF conference, hosted by New Perspectives and Northants Touring Arts is fast approaching!

    Being Bold takes place at Nottingham Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th June 2017.

    We have over 120 delegates attending from across the country each day and if you haven’t already, now is the time to book your place to be part of the conversation.

    Over two days a mix of rural touring scheme staff and board members, volunteer promoters, artists, performers and Arts Council England representatives will take part and join the debate in a series of focussed sessions highlighting dance, spoken word, the significance of place, children and young people, disability and fundraising.

    The clock is ticking, but there is still time to book a place at the conference. Booking for a full time place closes at 10.00am on Monday 19th June and for day places Wednesday 21st June.

    Here’s a brief outline to help you decide whether to join for the full conference or single days:

    BEING BOLD: Wednesday 28 June 2017, 1.30pm – 6.30pm

    •         Keynote speech from celebrated writer, theatre maker and Fun Palaces Co-Director Stella Duffy OBE

    •         Update on the national rural dance initiative with an extract from tour de force Uchenna Dance

    •         Spoken word and the rural challenge
    News from leading initative The Inn Crowd, the South East and East of England’s programme of spoken word inspired events in rural pubs, plus insights from artist producers, plus contrasting extracts from Rob Gee and Sophia Walker, chaired by James Urquart, Arts Council England

    •         The importance of place.
    A session from New Perspectives where theatre makers Jack McNamara, Alan Lyddiard and Michael Pinchbeck share approaches to two very different theatre pieces, with rural insights from Dr Jo Robinson, University of Nottingham
    PLUS 7pm until late

    •         Conference Dinner and TicketSource Rural Touring Awards
    Hosted by Stella Duffy OBE, featuring awards presented by leading researcher and writer Francois Matarasso, China Plate Co-Director Ed Collier, writer and associate editor of the Stage Lyn Gardner and Becci Speight, CEO of The Woodland Trust

    BEING BOLD: Thursday 29 June 2017, 9.45am – 4.30pm

    •         An interactive morning exploring, interrogating and discussing work for, by and with children and young people led by Little Earthquake, with special guest The Bone Ensemble. 

    The morning features an extract from Where’s My Igloo Gone, a production grounded in science and powered by the imagination which will lead into a wider conversation on inclusion and disability in a rural context.

    •        In the afternoon, Fundraising Fundamentals from 2.00pm - 4.30pm offers you the chance to engage with experts in specialist areas of fundraising who will work with you to spark fresh ideas to build on in order to gain new investment for professional arts in your communities and across networks. We are grateful to Arts Funding and Philanthropy for an award towards this afternoon training session.

    The fundraising workshops will offer a choice between:
    Getting started, trusts and foundations, individual giving and sponsorship, and online fundraising.

    Practical conference information, including check in details, parking and general logistics will be emailed to delegates a week in advance of the conference.

    Further information about Fundraising Fundamentals is available in the resources section of the website - here.

    A big thank you to all who have booked, and remember there’s still time to book a place if you’re quick!

    FULL CONFERENCE (which includes the Dinner, TicketSource Rural Touring Awards and overnight accommodation) booking deadline: 10am Monday 19th June book now

    DAY CONFERENCE booking deadine: midday Wednesday 21st June book now

    We look forward to welcoming you in Nottingham!

    If you have any queries, please contact Sally at