New podcasts are launched to celebrate the magical rivers weaving through South Downs landscape

A series of thought-provoking podcasts are being launched inspired by the beautiful and mysterious rivers of Sussex and Hampshire. 

Seven acclaimed writers and poets have teamed up for Full Harvest – a series of audio stories and poems inspired by the South Downs National Park’s landscape and available as free podcasts from 12 July 2021 via all major listening platforms. 

It comes after the wordsmiths have spent the past few months exploring the scenic river valleys and engaging with the community on local stories, anecdotes and reflections about the landscape. 

The result is an eclectic mix of writing styles featuring short stories, poetry and monologues. 

The inspiring initiative has been led by arts charity Applause in partnership with the South Downs National Park Authority. 

“Full Harvest is much more than just observations on the landscape, it encompasses thought-provoking reflections on how nature and humanity  interact. We’ve also worked with a really diverse group of writers and actors to enable some incredibly personal stories and experiences to be heard. ” Sally Lampitt, Deputy Director, Applause 

The Full Harvest episodes are as follows:  

“Wild Garlic”, River Ouse, Sarah Hehir 

Through charming rhyme and rhythm, Wild Garlic charts the close bond of a father and daughter- from the childish glee of springtime swims to the grown woman mourning his death, the river and its flora and fauna provide a comforting constant. 

“Cement Bags”, River Adur, Sara Clifford 

Ever passed a disused building and wondered about what stories it had to tell?  Cement Bags brings to life the hustle and bustle of the Cement Factory at Beeding.  Meet the women who worked there on the telephone exchange and listen to their lives in parallel to the building, from its glory days as an industrial hub to its poignant decline.

“Nature’s Storehouse”, River Meon, Lucy Flannery 

Exploring the history and mythology of the South Downs as a man uses his love of running to work towards recovery both physically and mentally. 

“Celestial Navigation”, River Ouse, Sara Clifford 

A poignant tale of family relationships, the intergenerational bond between a young woman and her grandfather is explored against the backdrop of a busy Ferry town. A  reminder that we don’t know what we have until it’s gone.  

“Meanderings”, River Cuckmere, Rosanna Lowe 

An elderly woman reflects on her meandering life as it mirrors the bends and breaks of the River Cuckmere. Life is never quite what it seems on the surface and her  winding journey finds diversity in the landscape and its inhabitants, proving that where there is life there is hope. 

“The Baptism”, River Rother, Theo Toksvig-Stewart 

A dark and unexpected tale about a young girl who meets a mysterious figure by the  River. A modern-day myth about being careful what you wish for.  

“My Mother”, River Lover, River Arun, Rosanna Lowe,  

A man reflects on the ebbs and flows of his complex relationship with his mother. He recalls his mother’s close bond with the water, her struggles with mental health and  alcohol dependency, and her joyous moments of freedom in nature. A tale of love and loss on the River Arun.  

“A Good Place to Cry”, River Cuckmere, A.G.G 

We follow a young man at a crisis point in his life. One traumatic moment forces him  to escape the city and find solace and hope in the landscape of the South Downs 

“Dear Wellsbourne/ Brighton Rocks”, River Wellesbourne, Merrie Williams Dear Wellsbourne is a series of seven sevenling poems addressed directly to the stream; interspersed with a short story about local residents, called ‘Brighton Rocks. Mirroring the intermittent pattern of the stream itself, Brighton Rocks explores how two friends deal with the challenges to face their past and live the lives they desire.  

“Perspective”, River Itchen, Lucy Flannery 

A reminder that many people have walked before us! A clever poem interweaving lives past and present who have interacted with the landscape. From modern-day  runners, to the past battalions of Cromwell’s men, to the father and daughter who find connection and peace by the River.  

Sara Clifford, lead writer and Sussex resident: 

“The Sussex Downs is both a beautiful National Park and a living landscape that supports people and work, and I am interested in discovering how the river has shaped the local community and its stories, from industry and jobs to the environment and leisure, and how local people view it today. I am  particularly interested in people who might feel that the National Park is 

inaccessible for them, for whatever reasons, and finding ways of connecting  groups with their local landscape, history and culture of the National Park.” 

Theo Toksvig-Stewart, writer and Hampshire resident: 

“My story was inspired by the duality of the landscape of the National Park, its beauty and its danger. The characters were really personified from that  landscape, and toying with what could lie beneath the beauty is something we  had a lot of fun exploring in my work with the students at Alton college.” 

“Each story approaches the theme of ‘rivers’ very differently, from the darkness of horror to conversational monologues. The common thread throughout is that natural landscapes can provide hope and new perspectives,  and the connection between nature and the journey to recovery. Our mental  health and wellbeing is so centred on our sense of place and belonging, I hope  people enjoy these stories for their entertainment (whether listening from  home on a wet afternoon or walking the downland), and find they open up  different ways of experiencing the unpredictable, tranquil, wild and powerful  nature of water.” 

Anooshka Rawden, Cultural Heritage Lead for the South Downs National Park, 

Audiences can plug in and listen while they walk and explore the landscape, or enjoy at their leisure. 

Podlink to all listening platforms – Full Harvest (pod.link) 

They will be available to download and listen on the SDNPA and Applause websites and popular listening platforms such as Spotify and Apple Podcast,  Overcast and Pocket Casts: 

https://www.southdowns.gov.uk / www.applause.org.uk 

Find out more below about each of the seven writers involved in Full Harvest.  Writers 

Sara Clifford – focussing on the River Ouse and River Adur 

Lead writer/Dramaturg for Full Harvest 

www.saraclifford.com 

Sara works as a writer, director and community artist, and has written over forty  plays including commissions for the Soho Theatre, York Theatre Royal & Nottingham  Playhouse. She has been Writer in Residence at the University of Brighton and at  Chichester Festival Theatre, and her work has been produced in France, Italy,  Guadeloupe and Hong Kong. Her play A Thousand Days, was a Finalist for the  Susan Smith Blackburn award.

As Artistic Director of her company, Inroads ( www.inroads.org.uk) she works with  local communities to write place-based work rooted in their stories, and has  developed six site-specific participatory pieces, with a new show coming for  2022, Two Pairs of Eyes, seed funded by Farnham Maltings. 

In 2019, she was Writer in Residence for the South Downs Park/ Applause, and the  resulting show, Cherry Soup, toured rural venues across the Park. She is the lead  writer on Full Harvest, the project which developed from this. 

Lucy Flannery – focussing on the River Meon and River Itchen Lucy’s writing career has included: working with Alison Stead and Roy Hudd on Like  A Daughter, a drama for BBC Radio 4, being commissioned to write an original  play, Tomorrow Will Be Too Late, as part of the D-Day 70th Anniversary  Commemoration and writing Nan a one-minute monologue created during lockdown  for Ink Festival. She has worked on the Chichester Festival Theatre’s playwriting  course and most recently as Writer-In-Residence at the University of Plymouth. She  is both an artistic practitioner and an FE College Governor, she is experienced in  working with young people.  

Sarah Hehir – focussing on the River Ouse 

Sarah has been a writer, dramatist and a drama teacher for over 20 years. She  performed at Kosovo’s International Literary Festival in 2019, and in 2013 she won  the BBC Writer’s Prize for a radio drama Bang Up where the North Downs became  part of the narrative and was broadcast as the afternoon drama on Radio 4. An  accomplished writer for Theatre, Film, Radio and TV she was recently chosen as the  commissioned poet on the Turner Prize ‘Connect together’ a project using words  and ideas collected through community workshops to create an epic poem about the  journey from London to Margate. 

A. G. G. – focussing on the River Cuckmere 

A. G. G. is a writer and essayist from London. Through literature, he explores a  variety of themes including masculinity, belonging, trauma, love, crime and  rehabilitation. Photography and filmmaking, are additional mediums he employs as  forms of expression. After completing his education he went on to work in a variety of  creative roles, most recently as a workshop facilitator addressing gang culture and  youth violence across the Capital. He recently signed his first book deal, which is  due to be published later this year. 

Rosanna Lowe – focusssing on the River Arun and River Cuckmere Rosanna is an experienced writer, director and performer. Pieces she has  written/directed have been performed in theatres in the UK, France, Malaysia and  the US and include the devised show Hummingbirds at the Young Vic, nominated for  a Total Theatre Award in Edinburgh, Chester Tuffnut at Polka Theatre, The Bacchae  in the Cultural Olympiad and co-writing/co-directing portmanteau feature film London  Unplugged. She has written two climate change radio plays, winning Radio 4 and  IRDP awards. Her work often focuses on history, people and place and ranges from  sketch-writing for TV series Horrible Histories to co-writing Brighton The Graphic  Novel. She has worked in travel writing, winning awards with the Royal Geographical  Society Award and The Times. She lived in Guatemala during its civil war and wrote 

Volcanoland, a travel narrative, collecting extraordinary stories and testimonies  about the war and its aftermath. She was the commissioned writer for Goonhilly  Village Green, a multidisciplinary festival celebrating the nature, heritage and  community of Goonhilly Downs. She is currently the Lead Storyteller for interactive  children’s show Printer’s Playtime. She has worked on various heritage and  engagement projects with arts organisation MSL, creating a series of audio story  poems called Ordinary Extraordinary inspired by Hastings residents. Rosanna has  run numerous creative writing projects, often with children, but also with mothers  from Holloway Prison and with Creative Future. She currently runs writing for  wellbeing sessions for Arts on Prescription, which caters for people, like herself, with  mental or physical health inequalities. 

Theo Toksvig-Stewart – focusing on the River Rother 

Theo is a dyslexic writer and actor. His play Endless Second was shortlisted for the  Holden Street Theatre Award and the Sit Up Award at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe.  The play transferred to the Park Theatre and Pleasance Islington as part of each  venue’s ‘Best of the Fringe’ season and was commissioned as an audio drama for  BBC Radio 4.  

In 2020 Theo was commissioned by Warts and All Theatre to write an adaptation of  Robyn Hood developed with children in care in Wellingborough. He was part of the  BBC Writersroom Drama Room Scheme 2019/2020 and the 2021 Minack Emerging  Playwrights Programme.  

Merrie Williams – focussing on the Hidden river in Brighton 

Merrie Joy Williams is a poet, novelist and editor. She was shortlisted for the 2020  Bridport Poetry Prize, longlisted for the 2020 National Poetry Competition, and is a winner of The Poetry Archive’s ‘Wordview 2020’ competition, permanently featured  on their website. She is the recipient of a London Writers Award, and Arts Council  England awards for poetry and fiction. 

Merrie is passionate about collaborations, as well as residencies and commissions,  which help keep her writing practice fresh and evolving. She was a poet-in-residence  with MMU Special Collections and Manchester Poetry Library, who are currently  releasing an illustrated broadside of one of her poems. Her most recent residency  was with Historic England, in partnership with Spread the Word, commissioned to  research and write one of their High Street Tales (Woolwich). 

Merrie has read or discussed her work in various places, including The Southbank  Festival, The Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival, and BBC Radio. Poems been published  in Poetry Wales, The Interpreter’s House, The Good Journal, and elsewhere. Her  debut collection is Open Windows (Waterloo Press, 2019). 

Creative Arts East: Plugged In – Existing Work Call Out

A New Digital / Live Hybrid Engagement Project for Rural Audiences 

There is a video reading of this call-out with subtitles on both the Creative Arts East YouTube channel and on the Plugged In page on our website

What is Plugged In?

Plugged In is a new project run by arts and community development charity Creative Arts East. The project will work specifically with artists who feel that their voice and story may be under-represented amongst rural audiences, to create a range of digital and/or live performance work along with connected community engagement activities. The project’s aims are:

  • To support performance artists with protected characteristics to have greater understanding of, and access to, rural audience demographics and distribution opportunities.
  • To upgrade and diversify the portfolio of work available for the rural creative circuit and its audiences. 
  • To engage new audiences in the digital world.
  • To broaden the cultural ambitions and horizons of existing rural audiences.

To find out more about the wider work of Creative Arts East, visit www.creativeartseast.co.uk

What Are We Looking For?

3 existing/adaptable works with accompanying engagement work – from any artists with protected characteristics.

Performances

Work should be appropriate for digital, live viewing, or a combination of both! With the pandemic changing the way that audiences consume art and creativity, we want to work with artists who can think outside the box and understand the need for flexibility in the current climate.  We are not specifically seeking recordings of full existing performances for online viewing.  Episodic work, short digital performances or live streams are more likely to be successful.

Engagement with Communities

As well as completed pieces of work, a big part of this project will be inclusive creative engagement activities that can run in conjunction with your work. We would like you to think about any additional enhancement activities you could offer to build intrigue and engagement in both your performance and the project. This activity could be in-person or digital workshops, creative activities, behind-the-scenes, Q&As, postal packs, whatever fits with both the project aims and your work.  We want the project to feel as much of a shared experience between audience and performer as possible.

Work that will be considered

  • Work that already exists but would be re-worked specifically for this project.
  • Work that already exists but will have new engagement activities developed.
  • Work that is in development and can be aligned to the outcomes of this project.
  • These funds cannot be used to extend the reach of a pre-existing piece of work that is already freely available to the public.

Who Can Apply?

This project is specifically for performance artists (theatre makers, poets, writers, dancers, musicians etc) – both collective and individual – who consider themselves to have characteristics protected by the 2010 Equality Act. Following an audit of our existing and previous portfolio of work, our focus for the next few years is on diversifying our work within the following protected characteristic areas: Disability, Race, and Sexual Orientation

We wholeheartedly welcome and anticipate applications from any artist who feels that their voice and story may be under-represented amongst rural audiences to apply with existing work. This includes artists from all backgrounds, particularly those of Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds, artists identifying as LGBTQIA+ and artists who have a disability or other protected characteristics. Artists must be over the age of 18 and based in the UK.

Key Information

Number of shows: We will be selecting 3 pieces of work that already exist. We also have 2 commissions available as part of the project – details can be found on our website.

Timeline: Activity will take place between September 2021 – January 2022.

Budget: The total fee (including VAT) is £1100 per show (this needs to include the engagement activities).

Access funds: Additional funds are available for any access assistance that participating artists may require during their work for the project.

Accessibility for audiences: Funds are also available for the incorporation of BSL, captioning or any other access support features for work produced through the project that may not already have these incorporated.

We will also be offering further training and development opportunities as part of the project, including Rural Touring surgeries for newcomers to the circuit.

If you have any questions about applying for Plugged In, or would like this submission brief in another format, please get in touch with Karen Jeremiah via karen@creativeartseast.co.uk.

We are also offering short 30 minute advice surgeries on the following dates: 21st, 24th and 29th June – you can book your slot here.

Deadline for Submissions: Friday 9th July 2021

How to Apply

Applications can be made via an online form here.

Alternatively, you can submit a video application of up to 8 minutes. This should be sent as a link to karen@creativeartseast.co.uk.

Video Submissions

If you are submitting a video, please ensure you cover the following in your application:

  • Your name, company name and title of work
  • About the show – please try to include the following:
  • Themes
  • Art form
  • Target audience
  • Audience experience
  • Delivery format
  • Duration
  • Details of the engagement activity
  • Costs and rough breakdown for show / activities
  • Provide any additional links to videos, website, reviews – please include these in the accompanying email.

We aim to respond to all applicants by 26th July.

Please note that due to the expected volume of applications, we may not be able to give individual feedback.

Creative Arts East: Plugged In – Commission Opportunity

A New Digital / Live Hybrid Engagement Project for Rural Audiences 

There is a video reading of this call-out with subtitles on both the Creative Arts East YouTube channel and on the Plugged In page on our website.

What is Plugged In?

Plugged In is a new project run by arts and community development charity Creative Arts East. The project will work specifically with artists who feel that their voice and story may be under-represented amongst rural audiences, to create a range of digital and/or live performance work along with connected community engagement activities. The project’s aims are:

  • To support performance artists with protected characteristics to have greater understanding of, and access to, rural audience demographics and distribution opportunities.
  • To upgrade and diversify the portfolio of work available for the rural creative circuit and its audiences. 
  • To engage new audiences in the digital world.
  • To broaden the cultural ambitions and horizons of existing rural audiences.

To find out more about the wider work of Creative Arts East, visit www.creativeartseast.co.uk

Who Can Apply?

These commissions are open to artists who self-identify as Disabled, and our approach is informed by the social model of Disability with an understanding of intersectionality. We strongly encourage applications from women and non-binary people, Black people and people of colour, and people from working-class or lower income backgrounds. Artists must be over the age of 18 and based in the UK. 

What Are We Looking For?

Performances

Work should be appropriate for digital, live viewing, or a combination of both! With the pandemic changing the way that audiences consume art and creativity, we want to work with artists who can think outside the box and understand the need for flexibility in the current climate.  We are not seeking recordings of full existing performances for online viewing.  Episodic work, short digital performances or live streams are more likely to be successful.

Engagement with Communities

As well as completed pieces of work, a big part of this project will be inclusive creative engagement activities that can run in conjunction with your work. We would like you to think about any additional enhancement activities you could offer to build intrigue and engagement in both your performance and the project. This activity could be in-person or digital workshops, creative activities, behind-the-scenes, Q&As, postal packs, whatever fits with both the project aims and your work.  We want the project to feel as much of a shared experience between audience and performer as possible.

Work that will be considered

  • A brand-new piece of work created specifically for this project.
  • Work that already exists but would be re-worked specifically for this project.
  • Work that is in development and can be aligned to the outcomes of this project.
  • These funds cannot be used to extend the reach of a pre-existing piece of work that is already freely available to the public.

Creative Arts East will act as Executive Producers in the development of your work, pairing you with local groups and communities, helping you develop your work and shape it to suit the audiences we currently serve. This can include a remote or real residency in a rural community venue.

Key Information

Number of commissions available: We have 2 commissions available as part of this project. However, we do also have a separate callout for 3 pieces of work that already exist, details of which can be found on our website.

Timeline: Activity will take place between September 2021 – January 2022.

Budget: The total fee (including VAT) is £3000 per commission (we have additional funds to cover any costs incurred with the residency element)

We can fund 100% of the work. If you do have or need additional funding for this project, we expect to be the main funder, meaning you should not require more than £3000 from other sources. 

If your project is dependent on additional funding from other parties, you should explain this in your application and indicate whether this funding is confirmed or not.

Access funds: Additional funds are available for any access assistance that participating artists may require during their work for the project.

Accessibility for audiences: Funds are also available for the incorporation of BSL, captioning or any other access support features for work produced through the project that may not already have these incorporated.

We will also be offering further training and development opportunities as part of the project, including Rural Touring surgeries for newcomers to the circuit and a bespoke CPD budget for commissioned artists.

If you have any questions about applying for Plugged In, or would like this submission brief in another format, please get in touch with Karen Jeremiah via karen@creativeartseast.co.uk

We are also offering short 30 minute advice surgeries on the following dates: 21st, 24th and 29th June – you can book your slot here.

Deadline for Submissions: Friday 9th July 2021

How to Apply

Applications can be made via an online form here.

Alternatively, you can submit a video application of up to 8 minutes. This should be sent as a link to karen@creativeartseast.co.uk.

Video Submissions

If you are submitting a video, please ensure you cover the following in your application:

  • Your name, company name and title of work
  • About the show – please try to include the following:
  • Themes
  • Art form
  • Target audience
  • Audience experience
  • Delivery format
  • Duration
  • Details of the engagement activity
  • Costs and rough breakdown for show / activities
  • Provide any additional links to videos, website, reviews – please include these in the accompanying email.

We aim to respond to all applicants by 26th July.

Please note that due to the expected volume of applications, we may not be able to give individual feedback.

Applause & 101 Creation Space: Rural Touring Lab

A free two-day residential training and development lab produced by Applause and 101 Creation Space.

Applause and 101 Creation space are offering a two-day residential training and development lab to upskill and prepare dance and contemporary circus artists for creating and touring outdoor work within rural locations and urban communities.

This practical event delves into the nuts and bolts of outdoor rural touring, offering detail and insight about where to look for commissioning and touring opportunities, examples of tried and tested techniques and approaches to making work for these settings and what to consider when building partnerships with promoters and rural communities.

The two and a half day Lab will involve a varied programme of workshops, seminars and creative tasks in order to expand your development and thinking in different contexts. The sessions will feature contributions from sector organisations including Applause Rural Touring, The National Rural Touring Forum, Live & Local & Creative Arts East, as well as practical performance workshops from theatre, dance and circus companies successfully making work for these contexts.

The Lab includes a welcome dinner and opportunities for 1 to 1 mentoring sessions throughout the event to explore your own artistic practice and its suitability. As a delegate on the Lab, you will stay onsite at 101’s residential artist village in one of our individual en-suite cabins so that you can continue to network and idea share with peers outside the structured sessions – plus there will be optional activities to get involved with in your free time! We will also be providing full catering so that you can focus on the experience and truly immerse yourself into your practice whilst you are with us.

To gain maximum benefit from this free residential course this opportunity is for artists who have an existing show that they are looking to reshape or have an idea for a new commission that they are looking to develop for this sector.

To apply: please send a covering letter or video outlining your interest in rural touring, a summary of your current practice and a brief outline of the show that you’re looking to develop to hello@101outdoorarts.com by 5pm on 5 July 2021.

juggler balances a framed portrait on his nose

The Rural Touring Lab is produced with support from Arts Council England and SELEP Ltd as a part of Catalyst For Culture and Marlowe, Canterbury.Share

Job Opportunity – Applause Marketing & Communications Officer

Applause is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation working throughout Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex as well as further afield to ensure communities access professional theatre, music and other performing arts.

We are looking to recruit a Marketing and Communications Officer who will form part of a small team including Director, Community Engagement Lead, Programme Lead, a project manager and an administrator.

This is a pivotal role in the organisation supporting all areas of our activity. Our office base is in Tunbridge Wells and the role will require partial office presence.

Full job description and information on how to apply can be found on the Applause website here.

You can also download the Job Description and Equal Opportunities form.


Marketing and Communications Officer

Reports to: Programme Lead
Hours of work: 3.5 days per week flexible hours
Salary: £24,000-£26,000 pro rata
Holiday: Pro rata from 23 days per annum plus statutory holidays (pro rata)
Probation Period: 4 months
Notice: 2 months following probation period
Contract Type: Permanent
Pension: Workplace Pension (NEST)
Deadline: 23rd June 2021
Interview period: 28/29th June 2021

Artsreach Marketing Officer Vacancy

Artsreach is a charity that arranges tours of professional theatre, dance and music to rural communities across Dorset and is part of Arts Council England’s national portfolio.

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative individual to assist with the marketing of all Artsreach events, to develop the Artsreach brand, and to support the Executive Co-Directors. You will be working alongside a highly motivated but small team to provide a professional service, accessible to the public through a network of volunteers.

The key emphasis of the role will be the promotion and enhancement of the Artsreach brand to increase participation in our activities through maximising the benefits of social media and responding to the needs of our audience, promoters and investors.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate marketing and communications experience in both traditional and digital media. Creativity, attention to detail, a good teamworking ethos plus a knowledge of and passion for the performing arts are essential to this role. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required, as is an understanding of the power of arts and culture at professional and grassroots, community and voluntary level.

The successful candidate will lead on the creation of a marketing strategy and audience development plan for Artsreach, whilst confidently managing their time to deliver daily marketing activity.

This is a six-month, part-time contract, based on 2 days per week but with the potential for extension. Terms and conditions can be viewed within the full job description.

How to Apply
Please download and complete the Artsreach Job Application Form from the Artsreach website.
This should be returned, with an accompanying letter of application, telling us why you wish to apply for this job. Your application should set out the knowledge, skills and experience you offer set against the person specification and skills requirements in the Job Description, and giving examples of actual activities where possible.
Applications should be submitted either by email to info@artsreach.co.uk or by post to Artsreach, The Little Keep, Barrack Rd,
Closing date for applications: 5pm on Friday 9th July 2021

Rural Arts Keepsake Commission ‘Pen Pals’

Pen Pals by Tom Wentworth 

Commissioned by Rural Arts as part of Keepsake, cultural experiences you can treasure

“We were better on paper…”

When Alison arrives at Irene’s cottage she doesn’t expect her friend’s daughter, Lucy, to be firmly in residence.

Lucy is suspicious – why did her mother never mention she had a pen pal for over forty years? Forced to share the house, both women discover they have very different memories of Irene. Did they really know her at all?

Pen Pals is a celebration of friendship and the art of letter writing across the generations.

Pen Pals is 30 minutes long and is streaming exclusively from Monday 17th– Sunday 30thMay 2021.

It can be listened to by calling local rate number 01845 980 360 or at https://www.ruralarts.org/whats-on/performances/pen-pals-a-keepsake-commission/

You can request a copy of the script by emailing megan@ruralarts.org

Quotes from Tom & Max

“At a time when we’ve been truly isolated as a society, I wanted to write about connection, friendship and it’s far-reaching power to heal” says writer Tom Wentworth “Pen Pals is a love letter to friendship.” Tom Wentworth is a writer for theatre and television, whose recent credits including BBC Four and BBC America, with upcoming projects with National Theatre Wales and BBC One.

“We’re so excited to share Tom’s work with audiences across North Yorkshire and beyond. He has a unique perspective, a beautiful style and knows how to punch you in the gut with story”, says Max May, Director and CEO of Rural Arts. “I hope listeners love the piece – and are perhaps inspired to write letters of their own. They’re an underrated way of sending something simple but special.”

Local young people feature in professional dance film shot on Woolacombe Beach

  • With choreography by Joshua Nash, Burnout uses raw and energetic krumping in a film about frustration and young people’s wellbeing
  • The film will be shot between London (14 May) and Devon (6 June) by North Devon film maker Gemma Pons Alsina
  • The dance film has been commissioned by the Rural Touring Dance Initiative and Beaford

@rural_dance | #BurnoutDanceFilm | www.ruraltouring.org | beaford.org

For a raw and powerful dance film about the importance of space and time off for mental health, about looking after yourself in isolation, and releasing frustration, Burnout will see students from Unlimited Dance Company in Barnstaple perform together on Woolacombe Beach on Sunday 6th June. The Devon dancers have rehearsed with the London dance company during lockdown, learning Joshua Nash’s choreography over Zoom, and will perform it together with Joshua for the first time when it is filmed. Reflecting the journey of young people during the pandemic, the film will be a chance to let it all out through the physicality of krumping, and to reconnect with friends and loved ones. They will be joined by professional dancers recording their parts in London, juxtaposing the urban city and the rural North Devon coast. The film has been commissioned by Beaford and Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI); earlier this month, RTDI and The Place co-commission In A Nutshell by Lost Dog was nominated for Best Short Dance Film at the National Dance Awards.

The final film will be released to the public on 7th July on social media.

Joshua Nash is a freelance hip hop theatre artist whose movement language is focusing on Hip Hop, Krump and House. He is reputable as a core member of Botis Seva’s company Far From The Norm, with performance credits including Channel 4 Random Acts, BBC Performance Live with Studio Wayne McGregor and Sadler’s Wells 20th anniversary triple bill Reckonings. He was due to perform a rural tour with RTDI in 2020, 

North Devon professional freelance film maker Gemma Pons Alsina, a keen dancer herself, has already filmed and edited five adult community dance routines during the Covid-19 lockdown year on location within the North Devon Biosphere – including Braunton Burrows, Ilfracombe Harbour and Barnstaple. The first ballet piece, performed by dancers of mixed abilities, received over 100,000 views globally. Gemma is Spanish-born and based in Croyde, North Devon

Joshua Nash said, “This has been such an exciting project to work on over the past few months. It’s been incredible working with the young people at Unlimited dance over Zoom to choreograph a film which has been born directly out of the pandemic. Krump is an artform which is still quite new within the hip-hop dance world, so having the opportunity to share it with young people who live in Devon and might not have done anything like this before has been special. The film will be a real celebration of people coming back together, difference and how we can all start to look ahead after a difficult year.”

Beaford is England’s longest-established rural arts initiative, supporting rural creative development and providing access to high quality arts experiences across rural north Devon for more than 55 years. We are innovators in rural community engagement, cultural education, and artistic leadership, always looking to seek out entertaining and extraordinary ways to explore our land, lives and future beaford.org

The RTDI is a partnership between the National Rural Touring Forum, The Place, China Plate and Take Art.

In 2015 The National Rural Touring Forum joined forces with The Place, China Plate and Take Art to launch a brand-new initiative designed to assist in the making and touring of contemporary accessible dance to rural areas. The project was set up to address the paucity of dance performance happening in rural areas in smaller community venues.  The project has been made possible by a grant from Arts Council England’s Lottery funded Strategic Touring Programme. Due to RTDI successes in November 2017 the project was given a further £417k to develop the project until July 2021. Over 160 performances have taken place to date along with numerous workshops and training opportunities for artists. 

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative is a partnership project led by The National Rural Touring Forum with The Place, China Plate and Take Art. The project is funded by Arts Council England through its Strategic Touring Fund.

The Library Presents Autumn 2021 – Open Calls

The Library Presents Autumn 2021 - Open Calls

The Library Presents programme currently has two open calls for artists to provide a mix of of performances (indoor & outdoor), digital work and participatory workshops: 

  1. The Library Presents Open Call for Events in Autumn 2021
    • This is an open call for artists to suggest physical, indoor or outdoor material for The Library Presents menu for autumn 2021 (mid Oct-Dec).
    • This Call-Out is open to artists/organisations in the Eastern Region (Beds, Herts, Norf, Suff, Cambs, Esssex, P’boro).
  2. The Library Presents Open Call for In Your House Autumn 2021
    • This is an open call for artists to suggest remote and digital material for The Library Presents In Your House menu for autumn 2021 (mid Oct-Dec). This element of the season will include a mixture of digital work, postal work, radio, window or outdoor projections. The activity you propose should not be freely accessible online already.
    • This Call-Out is open to artists/organisations in the UK.

Deadline for expressions of interest 13 June 2021.  The fee is a maximum of £1000 per activity (excluding VAT).  

Please click here for further information. 
If you are interested in The Library Presents programme, wish to submit an application to our Autumn 2021 season or have any questions surrounding the programme, please sign up to one of the available ‘advice surgeries’ with Florence Rose, Babylon ARTS.
Please sign up to a surgery with your name here, then please email florence.rose@babylonarts.org.uk, with the phone number you wish to be called on, and a brief overview on what you would like to discuss during your surgery. Please provide a website/link to show if relevant.

APPLAUSE OUTDOORS 2021 SHOWS ANNOUNCED

Applause is ready to get back to live events as restrictions ease this May, with a host of hand-picked shows perfect to get the community creative outdoors.

Arbor at Unfest

All the shows are Covid Safe, family friendly and designed for outdoor spaces, ideal for a community event, fete, or festival. There are 5 newly commissioned shows and 8 returning favourites providing a plethora of lively, inventive work to wow audiences across rural communities this Spring/Summer. Applause brings exceptional work right into the heart of communities, meaning audiences don’t have to travel far to see top quality performances. Working with a wide variety of events, from small
village fetes to large festivals, Applause offers subsidies to volunteer promoters and programmers enabling them to showcase outstanding performances in their community. In 2019, Applause worked with 70 local events to enliven them with brilliant shows.

“I am so pleased that Applause Outdoors exists! Particularly this year, as we are coming out of lockdown and the crippling effect the pandemic has had on the arts. The Rye Arts Festival has booked many of the acts promoted by Applause Outdoors over the years: The Amazing Cauliflower Machine, Octopot, Bazazi Brothers, Rat Choc Chip to name but a few. So, in September 2021 we are planning to have a day of outside, covid-safe activities from Applause Outdoors at the opening of this year’s 50th anniversary celebratory Festival. It will be a day for families to gather and have fun in the beautiful ancient town of Rye with stimulating activities and shows that will inject some much-needed fun into our return to normality.”

Niki at Rye Arts Festival


Applause will be starting with a bang this May bank holiday weekend with JukeBoxes and Nearly There yet – see listings info below.

To find out more about Applause’s work or to book one of these fantastic performances this summer, please contact Community Engagement Lead, Alice Hiller: touring@applause.org.uk or 07979 888734. The performances available for touring this summer are listed below. Further information on all the shows can be found on the Applause website:

NEW COMMISSION
• Dizzy O’Dare: Falconry Dismay
A raucous, fun and very silly puppetry show about falconry displays.
• Frolicked: Seeing Red
A storytelling puppetry show that is a modern reworking of the classic fairy tale Red Riding
Hood.
• James Wilton Dance: iRobot
A human and a robot fly through the air in this part dance, part trampolining extravaganza.
• Frank Wurzinger: Tree Fellas
A hilarious interactive comedy walkabout about a tree family looking for somewhere to settle
down.
• Beautiful Creatures Theatre: Bell Orchestra
An interactive musical game for families, that invites audiences of all ages to come together to
play beautiful melodies on a set of giant chimes


RETURNING FAVOURITES
• The Flying Bazazi Brothers: Nearly There Yet
This riotous double act, dance, juggle, and fall over each other for your viewing pleasure
• Eric MacLennan: The Open Air Drawing Room
Audience members are invited to stop, reflect see the bigger picture in a joyful celebration of
collective creativity as they create a giant piece of art.
• Rust & Stardust: Tweethearts
A heart-warming tale of friendship and feathers, with live music, beautiful puppets and an
enchanting tea room setting.
• Smoking Apples: Arbor The Tree
Follow Arbor’s story of being pushed from his home and his fight to preserve his future featuring
a 17ft puppet and beautiful storytelling
• Bootworks Theatre: Jukeboxes
Street theatre fun with two JukeBoxes. Performers pop up with a host of props to bring to life
pop-stars from past and present.
• Enter Edem: Comedy Cavemen
Walk about fun with the cavemen causing chaos and spreading an environmental message.
• Joe Garbett Dance: Doubles
Dance and ping pong collide with this high energy pop-up performance.