New Directions showcase festival 2018 - Call out to artists is now OPEN


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National Rural Touring Forum and China Plate seek artists to perform at New Directions 2018 showcase festival.

The Bi-annual rural touring showcase will return in June at Worcester University

Theatre and dance companies interested in introducing their work to the rural touring sector are invited to apply to participate in the New Directions showcase, taking place at Worcester University from 26-28 June 2018.

New Directions 2018 will bring together rural touring schemes, venues, voluntary promoters and artists to sample shows, see work, share experiences with other promoters and broaden their knowledge of work available. It also offers theatre companies the opportunity to highlight the quality and style of their work by participating in the showcase festival, programmed by independent producing studio China Plate and hosted by the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF), the membership organization for rural touring schemes, with Live & Local, a rural & community touring scheme covering parts of the East and West Midlands.

For the showcase we are seeking entertaining, surprising and stimulating performance reflecting the best of contemporary theatre, performance and dance available for rural touring in 2019. All work featured at the showcase will be selected on the basis of quality and appropriateness for the rural market.

Speaking about the showcase John Laidlaw, Executive Director of Live & Local and NRTF board member said “We are looking for bold and exciting work from a diverse range of artists – performances and people that reflect and celebrate the best of Britain and beyond and we welcome applications from all artists undertaking innovative work in disciplines such as theatre, physical theatre, digital art, dance, spoken word and circus arts. We are keen to hear from artists and companies who are not currently making work for rural touring, but who have a genuine desire to engage with rural audiences, and to change or adapt how they work to become suitable for rural touring.”

The showcase programme will be selected by a working group of China Plate, Live & Local, Worcester University Drama Department and the NRTF. The working group are particularly looking for tour-ready work however a limited number of shows in development will also be considered. All participating artists/companies will be offered a small showcasing fee to cover expenses. Audiences for rural touring are growing in the UK with the NRTF’s most recent survey results indicating a 26% growth in audiences over the past decade. 

Interested artists who fit the eligibility criteria outlined at are invited to complete the online application form.

Applications will close at 5 pm on 16th February 2018.



  • Marianne Grove


    We would love to showcase our new show The Crow House at the NRTF Showcase in 2018. We showcased L’Hotel at the Creative Arts East NRTF.
    The new show received Arts Council Funding to create it and has done some Nights Out Scheme shows for the Arts Council of Wales.
    We look forward to hearing from you
    Circo Rum Ba Ba

  • Alice Porter


    Hi Marianne folliw the link and download the criteria and apply via the online application form.
    Cheers Alice

  • Emily LeQuesne


    Link doesn’t seem to be working…..

  • Bridget Sanders


    Hello, We are a children’s theatre company based in New Zealand. Is there any opportunity to showcase our tour-ready children’s puppet show at the New Directions showcase from a distance? We are planning a tour of UK in 2019. Thanks, Bridget Sanders

  • Helen Chadwick


    This link on this page doesn’tt appear to be working..


  • Kath Kimber-McTiffen


    Do you have a copy of the application form with the questions that you can send me or I can download so I can prepare the answers and find all the information before doing the online form? thanks

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