There are certain benefits to living in rural areas and one of them is the fact that people generally have a much better chance of knowing their neighbours than their city living counterparts. Fostering a strong community spirit is an essential part of village life which is why things such as Rural Touring Schemes can have such as impact. Rural touring schemes are set up to encourage arts companies and musicians to put on performances in areas which may not always have access to the arts. Not only does this provide an excellent opportunity for companies to test their material on new audiences, a theatre show also provides a community to bond with each other.
Church halls often serve as a hosting venue for touring production companies. Whilst the chairs from the 1930’s may be a bit too rickety for full scale use anymore, it is possible for venues to invest in new quality seating furniture that will last for years to come. Indeed, committees can often make a lot of money from ticket sales for rural touring performances, so it makes sense to invest in facilities which will ensure that their audiences will return time and time again.
What types of shows go on rural tours?
There really is no limit to the types of shows that decide to go on rural touring schemes. For example, Angus Arts in Scotland has recently announced that Edinburgh based Tortoise in a Nutshell Theatre Company will be coming to their small Laurencekirk community. Susan Waddicor, administrator for Angus Arts, has said that the Tortoise in a Nutshell Theatre Company will put on a show like no other saying that:
“Feral is a rare thing – a show aimed at teenagers, as well as adults of course. It’s also an innovative show, a cross art form piece that seamlessly blends film and live performance, puppetry and multimedia technology. The puppeteers manipulate and bring to life a tiny world, whilst simultaneously creating a live animation, as they follow it’s every breath via digital camera. Joe, the main character, looks back at the home of his childhood and traces its journey from idyllic seaside town to a community gripped by anarchy. Directly inspired by the London Riots, the show is a response to youth dissolution within society.”
Inspire a Generation
There is nothing worse than people fidgeting in their seats because they are uncomfortable when attending a theatre performance. Invest in comfortable seats for your church hall and you could be helping to inspire the next generation of actors within your community. The arts world brings magic to life. Great theatre spellbinds audiences and transports people into a different world.
Any communities that want to investigate bringing productions to their villages should get in contact with the rural touring scheme network to find out more information about the logistics involved. It isn’t difficult to find top quality seating online, so any villages that need to update their venue facilities shouldn’t have a problem doing so.
About the Author – Sarah Makinson is a theatre venue expert who regularly uses sources such as www.styleseating.co.uk to write about how to improve overall theatre experiences.