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

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

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 http://inncrowd.org.uk/.

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  outdoors@applause.org.uk
Deadline for applications: 9am Monday 24 November
Interviews 3-5 December (please confirm that you are available for interview)

JOB OPPORTUNITY – Live & Local Marketing Assistant

Marketing Assistant

£16,772 to £18,251 subject to experience (full time/ 35 hrs per week/ flexi-time) with supplementary payments for any additional weekend and unsociable hours worked.

Joining a team of ten in Warwick the Marketing Assistant supports the Marketing & Communications Manager in all aspects of marketing and communications, with specific responsibility for print management for the live rural & community touring scheme and the community cinema scheme, communications (delegated elements of PR and media/ press function, including digital media), and will deputise for the Marketing & Communications Manager (MCM) in their absence.

You should have a passion for the arts and be an efficient and enthusiastic person with good organisational, communication and computer skills, a friendly personality, good written English and an eye for design. Previous arts marketing experience essential.

Deadline: Monday 29 October 2018, 5pm
Interviews: w/c Monday 05 November 2018
Starting: w/c Monday 10 December 2018 (latest) or earlier
Application pack: available for download
Application: via online application form only

Hike For Highlights Report

Hike for Highlights was the first fundraising event trialled by Highlights Rural Touring in June 2018. The idea
stemmed from a conversation about a fundraiser that would link each of the halls across the three counties of
Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland…at one stage we had been planning that it would be a relay over the
fields! The conversations began in spring 2017 with the promoters at a training day where the name Hike for
Highlights was produced. Over the next few months it was decided by committee that this should be a sponsored
walk, with a cream tea and a performance that would link it back into what we do best – bringing performance to
local areas.

On 3rd of June 2018 11 venues took part in Hike for Highlights, raising over £4000, £3900 of which was eligible for
catalyst match funding from the Arts Council.

Read the full report by downloading from the link on the right.

For more information about Hike for Highlights contact Holly Goodfellow: holly@highlightsnorth.co.uk

Farnham Maltings and Unlimited Partnership Commission

Farnham Maltings is proud to announce a joint commission with Unlimited for a project that gives innovative and exciting responses to the context of rural touring and village halls, and that place audiences at the heart of their artistic process.

We can provide expert advice and resources to those who are invited to submit a full application to the Farnham Maltings and Unlimited partnership award.  It is expected that the commissioned piece will tour to at least 3 rural communities during the project and be available to tour or shown by Spring 2020.

Projects wishing to be considered for this award will also need to meet the following criteria:

  • to be in the form of an event and/or performance
  • disability-led
  • to be innovative, ambitious and quality driven
  • have audience response and engagement at the heart of their creative process
  • strong track record of creating work and reaching audiences
  • strong artist/producer relationship evidenced
  • strong collaborations and partnerships (these can include those with non-disabled led companies/artists/producers)
  • technically suitable for touring into village halls and rural contexts
  • lead artist or company is resident in England or Wales
  • are applying for up to £25,000

Gavin Stride, Director of Farnham Maltings says “For us, there are extraordinary opportunities in making work for village halls and we want to encourage everybody to explore what happens when you make work with geographic communities rather than necessarily arts goers. There is something democratic in spaces in which everyone enters and leaves through the same door.

We want to make sure that the widest set of artists are offered the opportunity to play in this context. To discover what is special and ordinary in a space in which most people are turning up, not for the theatre but because something is happening in their community.”

Artists are invited to apply in the first instance with expressions of interest by 12pm 29th October 2018.

For more information and details of how to apply click here.

Rural Touring Dance Initiative Phase Two gets underway as it announces Autumn 2018 touring schedule

  • RTDI, a partnership between the National Rural Touring Forum, The Place, China Plate and Take Art was recently awarded new funds to continue its work over next three years
  • Autumn touring schedule is a mix of returning favourites and dance artists new to rural touring

Point of Echoes – bgroup   11- 28 Sep
Leviathan- James Wilton Dance 16 Sep – 10 Nov
Juliet and Romeo – Lost Dog 18 Oct – 17 Nov
I-Infinite – Tom Dale Company 4 -20 Nov
Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer – Shane Shambhu 9-22 Nov
The Hotel Experience – Lila Dance 30 Nov – 1 Dec
Hansel and Gretel – Uchenna Dance 7- 8 Dec

Full listings for the Autumn season can be found here.

The collaborative project launched to bring more dance to village halls around the UK enters its second phase with the announcement of the RTDI Autumn programme. The productions that will tour have been chosen by local promoters from a menu of possible shows and are a varied mix from adaptations of classic books, through comic dance solos, digital installations, fairy tales and immersive work, bringing some of the best of contemporary dance to audiences who might not otherwise see it. 

The first shows in September will see bgoup’s Point of Echoes return to rural touring. Point of Echoes, a haunting tale of love, death and monsters set on a remote lighthouse, was the first show to be commissioned especially for rural touring by the RTDI in its first phase.

Making its rural touring debut from September is James Wilton Dance’s Leviathan, a fast-paced and athletic reimagining of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick performed by a cast of 6 to a powerful electro-rock soundtrack. Rural touring favourites Lost Dog won a Rural Touring Award for their previous show Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me…)  which toured village halls around the country in 2016-17. Their new show Juliet and Romeo, touring from October, offers an alternative take on Shakespeare’s tragic lovers that sees them grow up and live into middle age in a show that blends dance, theatre and comedy. 

Tom Dale Company’s I INFINITE, which will tour in November, is part dance, part video installation and meditates on the digital world’s quest to recreate life. Also in November, Complicité Associate Artist Shane Shambhu offers a humorous and honest personal tale of growing up in East London, learning and performing Indian Dance in Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer.

Lila Dance proved popular with rural touring audiences when they toured the immersive The Deluge last year. They return to village halls from November with The Hotel Experience, in which a man checks into a hotel the night before his wedding to discover that all is not as it seems.
And just in time for the Christmas season, Uchenna Dance will tour its first work for families, Hansel and Gretel offering a new take on the classic fairytale. The company is known for blending dance styles from vogueing, house and waacking to contemporary and African dance, often along with text, to create shows that are entertaining and informative.

Speaking about the new season, Claire Smith, Project Manager for RTDI said “We’re very excited to be building on the success of the past three years of Rural Dance and continuing to take the highest quality of touring dance in the UK to areas that wouldn’t normally have access to it.”

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative was launched in 2015 with the aim of substantially increasing dance touring in rural England. It is a partnership between NRTF, the Yorkshire-headquartered membership body for rural touring schemes in the UK; leading dance institution The Place; Birmingham-based independent producing studio China Plate; and Somerset’s county dance agency Take Art. It was formed in response to Arts Council England’s rural evidence and data review (March 2015), which found that only 2% of NPO funded dance companies toured to rural areas. In the last three years the RTDI has worked with 15 dance companies and staged over 135 performances have taken place with an average of 70% capacity.

@rural_dance | #ruraldance | 

A film about the RTDI has been made by Director Rachel Bunce and can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/227900006/84124db5bd

Exciting Opportunity for an artist or designer

Artsreach has recently been awarded Arts Council support to help with our fundraising.

One of the strands of the bid is creating donation boxes that will be at our events where we will encourage our audiences to donate money in donation envelopes or loose change. We would like the boxes to reflect a sense of place and the rural environment of our venues as well as being quirky, fun and appealing. We are seeking to commission a designer/artist to design and produce donation boxes that are:

  • Artsreach branded
  • Distinctive and individual
  • Easily stored and carried
  • Robust and strong
  • To be sealed temporarily and therefore have a slot large enough for our donation envelopes which measures 10cm wide.
  • Reflect the range and quality of our work

Designers/artists are invited to apply and a committee will invite 5 selected designers/artists to submit more in-depth designs for a fee of £200 each. These will be considered carefully and the artist who is successful at this stage will then be invited to work up their proposal of the design and make up 20 boxes, each to be given a small individual twist in. There is total design and production budget for boxes of £2500.

Your initial application should include a short C.V. together with some examples of your work and a very rough outline of how you would meet the specifications of the brief. These initial ideas only need to be in simple sketch form.

Please email your initial proposals to yvonne@artsreach.co.uk by Friday 7th September and from then our selection committee will look at the applications and select 5 designers to develop their designs to a further stage.  

Artsreach Seeking New Trustees/Board Members

Artsreach is seeking individuals who are passionate about arts and culture, and the positive impact it has on those living in rural areas, to join our Board of Charity Trustees.
Artsreach is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee which enriches the quality of life of people living in the rural communities of Dorset by providing outlets for, and access to, the arts. Artsreach builds upon existing resources and facilities to provide a stimulating and challenging environment in which individuals, communities and performers can develop their creative potential.

Artsreach presents over 140 high quality, professional performances every year, alongside a programme of project work and participatory activity, working through a network of volunteer promoters in over 50 rural communities across Dorset. We currently receive public funding from the Arts Council as a National Portfolio Organisation, as well as Dorset County Council and West, North, East and Purbeck District Councils.

Seeking New Trustees/Board Members
We are seeking new Board members to support the Executive Co-Directors in fulfilling our aims and vision for the future. You will help to shape strategy and provide invaluable guidance and judgment to the staff team to help us realise our vision, all the while ensuring the board meets its governance responsibilities for the organisation in line with the principles that guide us.
Whilst we welcome expressions of interest from all candidates, we are particularly keen to hear from applicants with knowledge of or experience in any of the following areas:

  • The arts
  • Fundraising
  • Local Government issues
  • Young people (Education)
  • Diversity
  • Accountancy
  • Business Development

Artsreach Trustees give their time voluntarily for a minimum three-year term. Board meetings take place six times a year, and trustees may also be asked to become a member of a small sub group with a particular focus.

We aim to have a wide range of people on the Board, and there is no need to have prior trustee experience to apply.

We hope that membership on our Board allows individuals to contribute passionately to one of Dorset’s leading arts charities in a positive and friendly environment, helping to progress our unique organisation and achieve its objectives. Board members can also enjoy the varied range of performances we programme across the County.

If you want to find out more, please download the Trustee/Board Member Role Description from the right for further information on what’s involved and how to express your interest.

Expressions of interest should be made by midday on Wednesday 26 September.

Call Out to Artists for Applause Rural Touring Outdoors Commissions

Applause Rural Touring Outdoors Season 2019

Applications are now open for Applause Rural Touring Outdoors scheme in 2019.

In summer 2019, 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.

We 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.

We are looking for work that entertains and engages a diverse audience. Your show will need to be self-sufficient (i.e. not require technical or other support / involvement by the host organisation) and be able to be accessed by 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). You will be expected to perform up to three times in a day and your show should be no longer than 30mins. Please visit http://www.applause.org.uk for more information about our current touring season.

For 2019 we are offering the following opportunities and expect to take out between 6-8 shows this season:

Commissions and Reshape/Development Awards

• *New outdoor works: commission fees up to £4000
• *Existing outdoor works that requires some reshaping/development to tour rurally: development fees between £500 – £2500

Performance dates will be booked only on satisfactory development of the piece and an agreed show fee (please see show fee guide below).

Information for Artists:

Technical Challenges
We will be placing work in a variety of community settings including events that can provide very little technical or other support – the more technical requirements you have, the fewer the possible bookings.

Your piece will have to fit around other events in the host event programmes so please consider whether you require the audience to arrive at a certain time and remain for a set amount of time. We aim to offer each artist/company between 6-12 bookings between May – September 2019 within the Applause Outdoors region. Your show should be no longer than 30 mins and we would expect you to perform 2-3 times per day.

Show Fee Guide
Touring Fees must be fully inclusive of all accommodation and travel. We expect to pay within the range of £350 – £650 per show. (For any enquiries/bookings Applause receives outside of the Applause Outdoors region (Kent, Sussex) we will discuss appropriate rates with you).

Artist / Company Administration
Artist / company administration needs to be very strong. Applause will be responsible for booking a place and date for your show but the company will then be responsible for making specific arrangements and finalising details with host venues and promoters. Many of these hosts are volunteers and have no specialist theatre knowledge – you will need to be flexible, understanding and informative.

Your show must be ready and available for touring from the end of April. You need to have very good availability for weekends throughout May to September 2019 and prioritise dates for Applause within an agreed time frame for shows in Kent and Sussex.

We will expect most of the development work to take place between November 2018 and March/April 2019. Applause will require evidence (photos and / or video) of the work undertaken and to see work in progress. Companies will be required to submit regular updates both during development and while on tour. Applause will provide support and practical advice during the development process.

Application Process
Please fill in an application form available to download from the column on the right.

Please send application forms by email to outdoors@applause.org.uk making it clear in the subject line which funding option you are applying for by 5pm Monday 10 September 2018. If you have been shortlisted, you will be notified by email by Wednesday 19 September. We will acknowledge receipt of your proposal, however, we regret we are unable to provide feedback to non-shortlisted applicants.