Village Halls Week 2019 Poem

National Rural Touring Forum is 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 brainchild 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 that 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 22 January to 28 January 2019, every county will see a series of events to bring people together and celebrate these crucial rural spaces.

South Downs National Park Authority/Inn Crowd – Writer/Performer in Residence Opportunity

Applause Rural Touring (ART) and South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) are pleased to announce a new partnership to commission a spoken word inspired show that explores and records residents relationship, thoughts and feelings of the South Downs National Park and will tour across the region in 2019 as part of the Inn Crowd project.

Inn Crowd supports rural pubs to host spoken word-inspired live performances, working with some of the UK’s top artists and performers to provide pubs in rural areas with professional, high-quality, fantastic live entertainment and reinforces the pub as a central, vibrant part of community life. Further information about Inn Crowd can be found here

We are looking for an individual or collective that has the necessary skills and experience to deliver both creative and artistic excellence along with strong project management. The project will run from January – August 2019 and will include the following:

• Research: Identify pubs and local community groups/schools to participate and contribute to the project and to host the new show.
• Residency : develop innovative and creative ways to gather material focused on the South Downs and people’s relationship with it, using local community networks and host pubs.
• Commission: from the material gathered develop one or more pieces for performance in host pubs.
• Performance: deliver 7 shows in host pubs across the region.

It is anticipated that this is a collaborative project and that the Lead writer/performer is likely to  engage other creative practitioners to support the delivery of this work.

Research and Project Management (10 days minimum) – in collaboration with SDNPA and ART to research appropriate host pubs in the lead areas and liaise with pubs and participating groups to arrange workshops and visits. It is essential that a diverse range of pubs are sourced and in particular we want to target small rural villages, and isolated and relatively deprived rural areas.

Residency (21 days – 3 days per location x 7) – Deliver opportunities for creative engagement with local communities to explore and record residents relationship, thoughts and feelings of the SDNP. Activities to include (but not limited to) workshops/interactions with primarily community groups, and schools as part of residency days or activities in host pubs. Content of workshops and visits will be focussed on gathering material specific to the South Downs National Park, people’s relation with the landscape, buildings, work and home environment.

Commission – Using the information and observations recorded as part of the residency, create one or more pieces for performance at Host pubs. The resulting work for performance must reflect the thoughts, feelings and responses by local residents about the SDNP as well as those of the WIR.

Touring – perform a minimum of 7 shows across the region

Time Scale (indicative):
November/December 2018: interviews and appointment of WIR.
December – February 2018: research period to scope and identify pubs/communities and opportunities for engagement.
March – May 2019: residencies and engagement opportunities.
June – July : writer develops new work/s
August/September :touring of new work in community venues/pubs

Research and Project Administration Fee: £2,000 (minimum of 10 days)
Total Residency Fee for lead artist and visiting artists or performers: £6300 (minimum of 21 days)
Commission fee for development of spoken word inspired show – £4000
Touring fees @ £450 inclusive per show – (minimum of 7)


To apply please send a CV, to include links to samples of your written work and any live performances plus accompanying letter of no more than one side of A4 highlighting your relevant experience and what you would bring to the project to Sally Lampitt
Deadline for applications: 9am Monday 24 November
Interviews 3-5 December (please confirm that you are available for interview)