The National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) represents a number of mainly rural touring schemes and rural arts development agencies, principally across England, that aim to help local people to promote high quality arts events and experiences in rural and other community venues. The Touring Network have been members of NRTF since 2013, and alongside North East Arts Touring (NEAT) in Aberdeenshire, are the only Scottish touring scheme representatives.
NRTF’s annual event is an opportunity for Touring Network staff and promoters to meet and network with other promoters from across the UK. In 2013, the event was held in Stirling and followed a conference format, with discussions and seminars focussing on Developing Networks. This year, New Directions focussed on showcasing 37 companies, featuring artists, performers, musicians, dancers, jugglers, comedians, poets, actors, and storytellers, and was held at the York Theatre Royal and the Fauconberg Arms in Yorkshire.
“Living up to the outstanding showcase at Warwick Arts Centre 2 years ago was always going to be difficult. Expectations were high. New Directions now in it’s second year was curated by the same team, China Plate, who brought gems such as Me, Myself and Miss Gibbs, The Price of Everything and Love Letters Straight From Your Heart, which have all gone on to tour the Highlands. What New Directions does well is offer you the chance to see snippets of work which you might not have even considered. It demonstrates how successful tasters are at giving you an idea of what a show might be like. It’s like a real life You Tube or Vimeo show trailer right before your very eyes. It’s also a great networking, as well as brain picking, opportunity. There are a lot of differences in the way English promoters operate but they still face similar challenges and it’s good to compare notes.”
Lindsay Brown, Programmer for The Touring Network
Sam and Lindsay have reviewed the following shows that they saw at New Directions on Tourbook:
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