How to support rural touring and address the viewpoint that what is going on is crap?

Sam Eccles, 8 September 2012

it is clear that the audiences in the Highlands are very well educated in terms of drama.

However, it is also clear that many view the product being performed in the Central Belt and/or London is of a better standard/quality than that being offered in the Village Hall

Reality is that it is often the same product, and if not, of a very high standard

PAN are working to address this (promoters arts network); but in addition to the projects that they are launcing around brand, marketing, young promoters, guarantee against loss scheme, the following was added and noted:

When working with young promoters (16-26) can we use open space to develop ideas around audience development, attracting product etc? Where would this happen? Who would facilitate? Young people tend to like open space workshops.

Audience are key, and promoters are perhaps developing unintentional cliques. We need to find key community advoactes, not just existing promoters, to see product and to talk about it in their communities.

Are ushers underutalised as these advocates? Can we adopt the Waterstones models and promote shows as "staff picks'?

Fortunately more companies are realising the importance and excitement of rural touring - the ripple effect of close up and personal experiences are working,


touring, rural, rural theatre, Touring, rural touring