RE-IMAGINING THE RURAL TOUR: NEW FORMS FOR NEW AUDIENCES
Our collaboration partnership with the University of Nottingham, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and researcher Mathilda Branson has reached it's final stage as PhD research findings are being written up. The research looks at the UK rural touring sector as an area of theatre practice which has been overlooked academically. While the sector is thriving, much of the work on offer tends to be traditional in form, especially when seen in comparison to the innovation taking place in urban settings and at festivals.
The research particularly focuses on rural audiences; places of performances; and the rural touring distribution model, which relies on a network of rural touring schemes and thousands of volunteer promoters. It also looks at the possibility of more formally innovative work for this sector, and through the collaboration with New Perspectives two pilot pieces of work were created and tested on rural audiences: Something Blue, an interactive show, set at a wedding taking place in the village hall; and Homing, a performance which took the entire village as its setting and included a walk around the village accompanied by both audio recordings and live actors.