Hi-Vis: NRTF Conference

02/07/2019 - 04/07/2019 • Pontio Centre, Bangor, Wales
The conference will be a mix of conference sessions and showcasing with the theme of the value of Rural Touring. This is a conference for Schemes, Promoters and Artists of the Rural Touring sector. #HiVisRuralTouring More information and costs coming soon. In the meantime SAVE THE DATE!



Award Nominees



  • 02 July
  • 03 July
  • 04 July

Alessandro Merendino

Coventry University
Dr Alessandro Merendino is a researcher expert in Corporate Governance at the Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University. His main research interests are related to the role of board of directors in organisations, how big data influences the strategic decision-making process, and how shareholders and stakeholders affect firm performance and strategic decisions. He is also a qualified Chartered Accountant and Internal Auditor, and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

02 July

Alex Coulter

Art & Health South West
Alex has been Director of Art & Health South West since 2010. Before that she managed the Arts in Hospital project at Dorset County Hospital for 13 years and worked as a free lance arts and health consultant in the acute and primary care sectors. And before that she was an artist! As part of her role with AHSW she represents the region on the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing and provides the scretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing. She studied Art History at the Courtauld Institute, Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art and for an MSc in Management Development at Bristol University. She lives in Oxford with her husband, the writer Gijs van Hensbergen, and has three children.

04 July

Cerin Mills

Scheme Manager
Arts Alive
Cerin has worked extensively with arts and older people and leads on Creative Conversations - an Arts Alive older people's project in Shropshire. The arts are great for staying well - not just getting better!

04 July

Dawn Badland

Applause Rural Touring
Director Applause Rural Touring. Dawn has eleven years’ experience in community arts as a practitioner and project manager. Her background is in both visual and performing arts.

03 July

Frank Warwick

Coventry University
Dr Frank Warwick is an assistant professor in physical geography at Coventry University.

My teaching concerns environmental processes and how people interact with the natural world. My research interests are related to water management. I am also interested in geographical information systems and using maps to communicate information. I led the mapping team for the Concerta project.

02 July

02 July

Gail Ferrin

Gail holds a degree in dance and has worked in performing arts for nearly 30 years as community engagement, festival director, youth and community director and education and community type roles. Currently involved with Blaize as scheme manager for ArtERY and Live Lincs Touring schemes

03 July

04 July

Hannah Prior

Hannah Prior trained at The Central School Of Speech And Drama graduating with an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice. After graduation, she worked for ten years as a theatre-maker and actor touring and performing in the UK and Europe. Alongside her work as a theatre maker she ran participatory theatre programmes in London, creating work with groups who are typically excluded from taking part in the arts. Since moving back to Shropshire she has co-founded Ignition, a not for profit participatory arts organisation who work with children, young people and adults using multidisciplinary theatre as a tool for social impact and change.

03 July

Holly Lombardo

She talks!

02 July

03 July

04 July

04 July

Jo Verrent

We Are Unlimited
Senior Producer
Jo believes that ‘different’ is delicious, not divergent, embedding the belief that diversity adds texture, turning policy into real action.
Jo is currently the senior producer for Unlimited- the world’s largest commissions programme for disabled artists, working to get work seen, discussed and embedded within the cultural fabric of the UK with partners such as ACE, Creative Scotland, Southbank Centre, Spirit of 2012 and the British Council.

Working with Sarah Pickthall, she runs SYNC, examining the interplay between disability and leadership in the cultural sector.

Jo has won Cosmopolitan’s woman of achievement award and is a Clore fellow.


03 July

Kate Fox


Kate Fox is a Northern spoken word artist, poet and comedian. She trained as a journalist and radio reporter.

Kate recently toured with her solo show 'Where There's Muck There's Bras' and was commissioned by the NRTF to write the 2019 Village Halls Week Poem which you can read here.

03 July

Laura Dyer

Deputy Chief Executive, Places & Engagement
Arts Council England
Laura leads the delivery of the Arts Council’s second strategic goal: that everyone has the opportunity to experience and to be inspired by the arts, museums and libraries. She also leads on the growing agenda around local government, devolution and place-making, as well as overall leadership of all five of the Arts Council’s area teams.

Before joining the Arts Council, Laura was Chief Executive of East Midlands Arts Board. Until 2010, when she became Executive Director Midlands and South West, she held the post of Executive Director, East Midlands. During her time in the East Midlands Laura led a capital development programme, which transformed the region's cultural landscape, with a total investment of over £130 million creating six new arts and cultural facilities.

After postgraduate studies at Essex University Laura started her career in the arts in a number of theatre and community arts companies before moving into large outdoor events programming at the Garden Festival Wales. She went on to work for local authorities in Norfolk and London.

Laura joined the Arts Council in 2003.

02 July


Marian Wyn Jones

Marian Wyn Jones is the former Head of Centre for the BBC in North Wales and has a journalistic career spanning three decades. She currently works as a Media Consultant and is a member of public bodies and charitable trusts.

02 July


Mark Webster

Coventry University

02 July

02 July

Natalie Jode

Creative Arts East
Natalie is the Executive Director at Creative Arts East, an Arts Council NPO working across Norfolk, Suffolk and East Anglia. Since joining the charity as Diversity & Inclusion Projects Officer and during a time of immense change Natalie helped build Creative Arts East’s diverse portfolio of projects and contracts, managing initiatives as part of large regional consortia and partnerships. Prior to this, Natalie was the Arts Officer for Fenland Arts, a small arts development charity working in the Fenland district of Cambridgeshire. It was here that Natalie developed her enthusiasm for rural and participatory arts, and an understanding of the issues facing those living and working in this setting.

03 July

Nick Henry

Coventry University
Nick Henry is Professor of Economic Geography, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University. Previously he undertook policy research and evaluation as Consulting Director, Economic Development and Economic Policy at ICF GHK. He is Coventry City of Culture 2021 Ambassador for Coventry University and a founding Director of Creative United, a social enterprise that recently achieved Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation status. He is a member of the Big Society Capital/Citi Group Community Investment Steering Group. In 2018 he lead authored Evaluation and Learning from Prosper Business Support Project, a national project funded by ACE.

02 July

Paul Whitaker

Four In Four
Paul Whittaker is an artist, writer and filmmaker. As well as working with many clients including Rubicon Dance, Arts Council Wales, Sherman Cymru, Channel 4, Public Health Wales and the Old Vic, Paul creates his own work. He recently wrote and directed his autobiographical play - Gods & Kings – to critical acclaim and had his first solo art exhibition at the Hearth Gallery - miscellaneous RULES.

His tabletop installation, Discombobulation and Three Words – a collaborative film made with Tamsin Griffiths - are currently touring Welsh Galleries as part Disability Art Cymru’s exhibition. His film my mental illness & me was exhibited in the Mission Gallery, Swansea. His video installation, Institutional Blue, has been exhibited at: The Attic Gallery Space, The National Centre for Mental Health pop up exhibition and The Hearth Gallery.

Since graduating from Newport Film School in 1997 Paul has worked on over a hundred commercial and non-commercial film projects as a freelance Writer / Director. His work has been screened on television, at festivals, in art galleries and theatres. His work for Public Health Wales has been viewed both nationally and internationally online.

In 2015 Paul completed his MA in Creative Writing at Swansea University with a Distinction Grade and is currently completing his first novel as well as writing a feature length screenplay set in the world of Swansea’s heroin community.

04 July

Sonia Sabri

Artistic Director
Sonia Sabri Dance
Sonia Sabri is UK’s leading Kathak dancer, amongst the brightest and most inspirational of British born dancer-choreographers working in the twenty-first century. Creating work that spans from the presentation of classical roots of Kathak to explorations of contemporary approaches, her productions reflect an appreciation of Western and Eastern cultures. She has created a fresh, unique style of Kathak by reinventing it from within, by pushing boundaries and generating work that is original in concept and exciting and relevant to today’s audiences. As a dance artist, she is acclaimed for her enchanting stage presence, grace and musicality that enthral audiences both nationally and globally.
She has secured an international reputation for collaboration across dance styles and art forms including work with pioneers Sarvar Sabri, Arlene Phillips CBE, Sir Trevor Nunn, Richard Alston, Lea Anderson, Shobana Jeyasingh, Nitin Sawhney, Rose English, Jonzi D, to mention a few. As well as touring with work created in Britain across Europe, America, Indian Subcontinent, Middle East etc. she has been supported and commissioned by UKTI and British Council and independent bodies to create new work and lead meaningful learning and participatory projects. One of many highlights include her work in the Emirates touring with Kathakbox; leading movement based workshops and residencies for women only groups and especially from orthodox backgrounds; residencies with children with learning difficulties, and creation of new dance and live music works with girls. Sonia is the first female artist to have toured the Emirates and other parts of the Middle east.
In addition, Sonia is a teacher of Kathak and regularly undertakes various workshops, lecture- demonstrations and residencies in both national and international venues. She is accredited by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). Recently she was commissioned by BBC Young Dancer 2017 as one of the mentors and choreographers for the grand finals.
She also runs Kathakaars, a creative forum for aspiring dancers providing vocational training and offering a range of performance and choreographic opportunities to create a legacy of high quality artists.
Sonia’s innovation within her form has been highly acclaimed across the contemporary dance world through several commissions, some include The Place Prize, BBC, Channel 4, Tanzhaus, ARTE, Phizzical Productions, Manasamitra, South Bank Centre, London Olympics 2012 through Cultural Olympiad’s 'Encompass 360 digital dance' project.
She is a recipient of the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award, Lisa Ullman Choreography scholarship, and was selected for Dance UK’s 2014/15 Mentoring programme. Sonia was nominated for the Asian Women of Achievement Award and the London Dance Awards. She was awarded The Bench Fellowship 2016 and The National Indian Arts Award for Distinguished Teacher of Dance in 2017 and nominated for The National Diversity Awards 2018. She has two ACTA awards for Dance 2016 and 2019. Sonia Sabri Company very recently received the Best Dance Company award 2019 by Prestige. Most recently she received two nominations for the Birmingham Inspiration Awards as the most Inspirational Woman and The Best Female Dancer. Sonia is an Associate Artist at one of UK’s leading national theatre houses, Birmingham Hippodrome.

03 July

Stephanie Jessop

Communications / Marketing Manager
Stephie Jessop is the Communications Manager for the NRTF and the RTDI Marketing Manager. She is also a creative producer with Spot On Lancashire. Stephie specialises in engaging communities and audiences in creative ways, both on and off line.

03 July

Sue Robinson

Scheme Manager
Spot On Lancashire
Sue Robinson FRSA is the co-director and owner of Culturapedia, an independent arts project management company based in Blackburn, Lancashire. Sue has developed Spot On Lancashire since 1998 from its humble roots running 15 shows a year to now working with 30 village halls and 30 libraries.Sue now focuses more on development projects, fundraising and research than day to day programming which is delegated to her Company Manager, Lyndsey Wilson. Last year she took a sabbatical to complete a Masters in Art Culture and Society at Erasmus University, Rotterdam and thoroughly enjoyed a year out in another country getting to grips with academia after a long break and occasionally learning Dutch.Sue's background and practise in rooted in the community arts movement; her first "proper" job being an arts worker at High Peak Community Arts in North Derbyshire. Sue has also worked in local government, the Arts Council (when it was a regional board) and as a freelance project manager. Sue is a keen singer in two a cappella choirs, loves hill walking and wants to get to the top of Ben Nevis this year.

03 July

Terry Adams

Relationship Manager - Diversity SE
Arts Council England

03 July

Tom Speight

National Rural Touring Forum
Chair of NRTF but also a Promoter, having put on over 30 shows in the past ten years in his village in Cumbria.
He was on the board of Highlights, the rural touring scheme in the North of England for 6 years before joining the NRTF board in 2016.
He's also put on an annual 4 day music festival called Music on the Marr since 2010.
He works for the BBC and plays ukulele.

02 July

03 July

03 July

04 July

04 July

Victoria Hume

Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance
Victoria Hume is Director of the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance. She has a background as a composer, researcher and project manager specialising in culture, health and wellbeing, and was an arts manager for the NHS for 15 years. From 2010-2013 she was chair of London Arts in Health Forum and was the founding chair for the National Alliance for Arts, Health & Wellbeing in 2012. She is also a Research Associate in the medical humanities at WiSER (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), helping to support the Medical & Health Humanities Africa Network, and establishing a new module in hospital-based performance for the university's division of music. In 2017 she received a distinction for a Masters in Music and Health Communication focused on hospital-induced delirium. She continues to write and release music through Lost Map Records, based on the Isle of Eigg.

04 July



It's time for a good old knees up with the fabulous Welsh band Alaw!

ALAW is three leading musicians who bring a wealth of experience to a shared passion – the traditional music of Wales. Whether unearthing rare gems or reimagining a well-loved melody they treat their music with a deftness and sensitivity that is thoroughly absorbing. Combined with powerful songwriting and original tunes, this makes for a musical experience that will stay with the listener long after the concert has ended.

Oli, Jamie and Dylan have a long history of working together, sharing projects such as The Devil’s Violin, Szapora and The Ian McMillan Orchestra. Oli and Jamie are well known throughout the folk world as the frontline of Jamie Smith’s Mabon. From stirring song to driving jigs – they communicate their music with relaxed humour and genuine affection that is truly infectious.

03 July

03 July





Candoco produces excellent and profound experiences for audiences and participants that excite, challenge and broaden perceptions of art and ability, and place people and collaboration at the heart of our work.

04 July

Christina Murdock


Christina is a professional actor, writer, and opera singer based in London. She has over twenty years of experience as a performer and has lived and performed in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vienna, Austria. She is a member of Equity UK and is an Equity Membership Candidate in the US.

Christina is a member of the Royal Court Theatre's Writers Group. She received her Master of Acting from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Redlands in California. She is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy.

Christina is an advocate for people with disabilities and those that care for them.

03 July

Eric MacLennan


Born in Scotland.

Eric MacLennan has been making innovative performance work for nearly thirty years.

During this time he has worked as an actor and director with many world-class companies including DV8 Physical Theatre; David Glass Ensemble; V-TOL; Citizens Theatre Glasgow; Red Shift; Manchester Royal Exchange; Bristol Old Vic; Theatre of Comedy Company; Royal National Theatre Studio; Boilerhouse; Volcano; Lumiere & Son; Shunt; Station House Opera; National Theatre of Scotland; Young Vic and the Almeida.

Over the last ten years, he has been creating his distinctive work whose practice occupies a unique space somewhere between theatre, movement and the visual arts.

This current focus defies a pigeon-hole definition but may be described as performance art.

The work is bold, cutting-edge with a clear focus on its audience, challenging, provocative but always entertaining.

Inspired by philosophy and comedy in equal measure his work questions our unconscious habits, challenges conventions and isn’t afraid to say the unsayable!

02 July

Four in Four


Tamsin Griffiths and Paul Whittaker are cross-disciplinary artists with a Mental Health (MH) diagnosis, based in Cardiff. We create participatory, interactive projects that blur the boundaries of art forms and challenge perceptions about MH, through form and content.  Working in collaboration, we merge our expertise from the worlds of visual arts, theatre, sound, the written word, film, dance and physical performance.

We have collaborated and shared practice on many projects, using our multiple skills to best convey a story. We also utilise our skills and creativity to create training materials and deliver public messages for clients including Public Health Wales.

As artists who work in Public Health, we know how important it is to gather the experiences and thoughts of those with lived experience to underpin the creative output. To this end, our practice follows that of the iterative design process. Our quality was recognised by ACW who deemed our theatre production, Gods & Kings, as Best Practice in their arts and Health in Wales: A Mapping study of current activity - Volume 1: Analysis, findings and proposals January 2018.

We sit on numerous advisory panels and are working with Public Health Wales and 1000 Lives to consult on the improvement of Mental Health services across Wales.

As Service Users, we believe in equality for all, justice, empathy, compassion, positivity, collaboration and robust discourse. We have worked with MH Service Users, Adult & Child Disability Groups, Asylum Seekers & Refugees, Street Based Drug Users, Dementia and Vulnerable Children. We have a duty of care for every member of society regardless of gender, sexuality, income, race, religion or age.

As established multi-disciplined artists and service users we can contribute passion, skill, commitment, personal experience, professionalism, conceptual thinking, problem solving, our reputations, contacts and a fresh approach.

Our clients include Public Health Wales, NHS, Llandough Hospital, Hafan y Coed , Mind Cymru, The National Centre for Mental Health, Welsh Government, ACW,  Sherman Cymru, Rubicon Dance, the Schools Service and Universities.

04 July

George Orange


I am a Performance artist, Circus performer, Outdoor theatre maker, Cruise ship entertainer, Former Mascot, ex Drag performer, Current Co-Creator of Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club, Director, and Teacher but most of all…and without a doubt:


I have been performing for 20 plus years. I enjoy collaboration and good whiskey.

Helen Frost

Frost Creative


I am a graphic recorder – drawing large scale graphics to synthesise and share the key ideas live at conferences, workshops and other events.

My work focuses on the use of drawing as a tool to analyse, communicate and transform across a wide range of sectors and topics. I’ve been working as a graphic recorder for more than 5 years and have experience of recording a wide range of conferences, workshops, seminars, staff/management away days and exhibitions.

Drawing offers immense potential for meaningful connections so it is brilliant to be able to instigate such connections by drawing insights from presenters and participants at the leading edge of their respective fields.
Collaboration is crucial to my work as its content depends entirely on the participation and contribution of others (that’s you). I also collaborate within the wider community to share and develop drawing as a tool.

I am based in Cardiff and work throughout the UK and Europe.

02 July

Jo Fong


Jo Fong is a director, choreographer and performer working in dance, film, theatre, opera and live art.

Her eclectic career includes performances with DV8 Physical Theatre, Rosas (Belgium) and Rambert Dance Company. Recent collaborations include working with Wendy Houstoun, Sonia Hughes, Deborah Light, Unfinished Business, Skye Reynolds, National Theatre Wales, Welsh National Opera, Hull Dance and Quarantine.

Jo is a Peilot Associate Artist with Chapter Arts Centre, Research Associate with SE Dance and Associate Artist with Chinese Arts Now (CAN). As an independent artist she has toured her choreographic work throughout the UK and to international festivals. Her work has been recognised and awarded by the Critic’s Circle National Dance Awards, Creative Wales Award and Wales Theatre Awards.

04 July

Maria Ferguson


Alright! I’m Maria Ferguson, and I’m a poet and theatre-maker from Romford in Essex. My début one-woman show ‘Fat Girls Don’t Dance’ won the Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show in 2017, and I’m currently performing my new show ‘Essex Girl’ around the UK.

02 July

Mr & Mrs Clark


We live and work in South Wales, where we have been making performance, live art and dance theatre since 2002. Often our work has a playful and interactive element inspired by happenings and live art events that bring art forms and people together. We have a DIY approach to exploring and developing ideas.

03 July

Nearly There Yet


Nearly There Yet strive to make high quality, extremely physical shows, which tell stories to reflect the world we live in.

Since being established in 2015, Nearly There Yet, led by artistic director Kaveh Rahnama, have produced Home Sweet Home (ARC/ Stratford Circus co-comission 2019), the Albany/ARC co-commission Pinocchio (2017/18) , The Party (Jacksons Lane commission and subsequent UK tour including runs at Polka, Jacksons Lane, and Watermans, and performances at Londons Royal Festival Hall and the Gala Performance at Take Off 2017), The Flying Bazazi Brothers (Applause outdoors commission 2017), Memory Man (Applause Outdoors commission 2018) and Lab Rat (Little Angel 2015).

We have successfully supported 4 under represented artists through Nearly There Yet’s Dare to Devise Scheme, providing mentoring, cash support, and negotiating development space as well as brokering new partnerships to help develop the artists practise.

Nearly There Yet are a supported company of Jacksons Lane and are currently directing and co-producing Sorry we missed you with The National Centre for Circus Arts. Their work has toured the UK extensively - both indoors and outdoors.

e-mail producer@nearlythereyet.com or kaveh@nearlythereyet.com for more info or to book the show for Spring/ Autumn 2020.

02 July

Quick Duck

Award-winning Birmingham based theatre company. We make interactive shows with a fun and comic twist to create unforgettable live experiences.

03 July

Sian Miriam

Siân Miriam – graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in September 2015 with a Bmus in Popular Music. Now situated back in her native Anglesey as a bilingual freelance community arts practitioner, storyteller and singer - Siân weaves both story and music into interactive performances. This performance will be a journey aiming to explore word sounds in an experimental way. Recently awarded the Gwobr Esyllt Harker Prize, Siân weaves bilingual storytelling with song. She performs as lead vocalist and writer for Tagaradr duo – a folk blues duet with a bilingual narrative – and their song ‘Fall and Drop’ was recently shortlisted for this year’s Wales Folk Awards. The power of words is at the root of her practice.

Taking Flight


t Taking Flight we make bold, unusual theatre productions with D/deaf disabled and non-disabled performers centre stage.Our work tours Wales and beyond and we often find ourselves in geographically isolated or rural places, performing in woodlands, castle grounds, community centres or shopping arcades as well as traditional theatre venues & schools.

02 July

Truckstop Honeymoon


Hollering with all their hearts over a five string banjo and a doghouse bass, Truckstop Honeymoon live the life they sing about. Touring across three continents with four kids and a truck load of songs, Katie and Mike West tell stories about the strangeness of everyday life. Their music combines elements of bluegrass, music hall jazz, and straight up rock’n’roll. They have released nine albums and a full length documentary film, produced over two hundred albums for other artist, and received awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

02 July

Two Gents


Shakespeare's classic comedy about mistaken identity, loss, journey, family, confusion and high jinks are brought to life in our classic Two Gents bare-boned, interactive theatre style. Our aim, as ever, is to celebrate the playful fun that can be had with Shakespeare's early comedy but also to tease out the more serious undertones that relate to our contemporary experience of migration and displacement.
Our aim is to cast a company of not two but three actors in this production and not only gents, either.

03 July


Vicky Wilson

Assistant Producer and Marketing Manager
Scottish Dance Theatre / Joan Cleville

Joan Cleville is an independent dance company based in the city of Dundee, Scotland. Led by Artistic Director Joan Clevillé, the company’s practice is rooted both in movement research and experimentation with theatre and storytelling, challenging the conventional boundaries between genres. The company aims to create intimate works that are honest, original and thought-provoking, inviting audiences to share the performers’ enquiry about themselves, each other, and the world we live in. Joan Clevillé Dance works with a group of hand-picked artists and collaborators, and is passionate about sharing its artistic practice and engaging with young and new audiences. In addition to the performances in a variety of venues and contexts, the company offers an extensive programme of professional development and creative learning opportunities.

04 July

Jasmine Lowrie

BIO: I’m 20 and live in Chirnside in Berwickshire, in the Scottish Borders. I have lived in the Borders all my life. I like The Borders but transport is a real problem, it is difficult to get anywhere quickly on public transport from Chirnside.
I love music, both listening and playing and am also really interested in sound engineering. I also enjoy photography and have recently started taking photographs at Live events.
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: “I’m surprised by the nomination but honoured to have been nominated and glad to be making a positive impact on rural touring”
JUDGES THOUGHTS: It feels to me that Jasmine has gone deeper into the idea of what Rural Touring is, and she seems like a really bright prospect for the future.
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "Since Joining Boarders Young Creative Jasmine has shown real commitment to the project" Anon.

Sam Pullen

BIO: I have a huge interest in lighting and the Neuadd Dyfi has given me the opportunity to expand my interest and build my knowledge. I really do love it when the touring shows come in as I’m able to see how they work bringing pretty much everything with them.

I feel that I am so lucky to be able to do all of this when I am so young.
I am hoping that I can continue Learning and gaining experience so when I leave school I have the knowledge to continue with a career within this field.JUDGES THOUGHTS: Sam is clearly an exceptional young person with a bright future in our industry. I wish him every success in his training and next steps.
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "Sam Pullen is an exceptional young man. Since 2017 when he was just 13 he has been helping out at all the Night out Shows we have had at the Neuadd Dyfi. When I say help I really mean help. He helps with the get in with the get out. Rigging lights setting chairs and clearing away at the end. If there is nothing to do he finds something. If it’s raining you will find him outside welcoming members of the audience with an umbrella." Anon 

Sophia Hatfield

Stute Theatre
BIO: 'Common Lore' is a fast-paced, multi-skilled solo show by actor and theatre-maker Sophia Hatfield (aka Stute Theatre), which retells Angela Carter's collection of Fairy Tales for a modern, young rural audience. A fast-paced fusion of rap, spoken-word, live electronic music, multi-rolling and physical theatre, this production attempted to push the boundaries of solo storytelling through the creative use of technology - with live projections and sound cues triggered entirely by the performer on a mobile phone as part of the action. Inspired by interviews with young people in libraries across the North West, this show took relevant, inspiring theatre to libraries, youth theatres, schools and rural venues engaging young people who do not traditionally access theatre.
Stute Theatre - Live Performance in Community Spaces, Schools and Theatres. www.stutetheatre.co.uk
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: I am absolutely delighted that the creativity, ambition, passion and hard work of the wonderful team behind Common Lore has been recognised through this nomination. Whilst incredibly rewarding, creating and touring theatre for young adults can be challenging. From the very first commissioning meeting with Spot On, through rehearsals and when touring the show, I was blown away by the enthusiasm, dedication and hard work of the many rural touring organisations who made this show happen. The rural touring community took a risk on a new piece, with the hope of welcoming and inspiring the next generation of theatre audiences, whilst supporting Stute Theatre as an emerging company and I'm incredibly grateful. Thank you so much!
JUDGES THOUGHTS: This feels really ground-breaking because of its brief to appeal to young people in Library spaces. I like the idea of the show and the way it was written and performed.
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "Sophia uses these three stories to reflect on what it is like to be an un-wealthy 18-year-old in the north, yet it is done with wit, humour and sophistication. Students, apprentices, grandparents and anyone else who was ever 18 will love this piece" Anon

Dante or Die Theatre company

BIO:Dante or Die makes bold and ambitious site-specific performances that tour across the country and internationally. The company gently transforms ordinary spaces to create unique and intimate theatrical experiences.Led by co-founders Daphna Attias and Terry O’Donovan, their original productions interrogate and celebrate contemporary human stories that take place in everyday buildings - from hotel rooms to swimming pools to cafés. They have collaborated with leading arts venues across the UK including Traverse Theatre, The Lowry & The Almeida alongside grassroots organisations in the localities in which they make work. Dante or Die are SITELINES Associate Artists at South Street Reading, which champions performance in unusual locations
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE:We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for a National Rural Touring Award for Take On Me. Working with the guest cast members in each location around the country was an absolute pleasure and an inspiration. To every leisure centre that said yes to making this beast of a show take over your building - thank you! We hope to see more spaces being turned into theatrical landscapes over the next year of rural touring!” - Co-Artistic Directors Daphna Attias & Terry O’Donovan
JUDGES THOUGHTS: The innovative and inclusive approach to local people and local places was really impressive
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "Dante or Die's 'Take On Me' tour was an absolutely incredible project to be involved in last year, and definitely one of the most outstanding, unique productions that traveled to rural Norfolk in 2018." Creative Arts East

The Haunted Man

Kindred Theatre
BIO: Kindred Theatre was set up in 2016 to bring big stories into small spaces; our aim is to let audiences listen and see stories, old and new, in their communities, made for their spaces and relevant to their lives. It was formed by two theatre professionals, both from rural backgrounds, who have spent many years working in and loving the joyful and welcoming experience of rural touring and wanting to bring theatrical adventures into small communities.

QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: “We’re thrilled to be shortlisted for this award. After many years of working with the Networks and various rural touring companies, it’s a real pleasure to feel that our first adventure with our new company touched audiences in the way it did and brought about this recognition.”

JUDGES THOUGHTS: I enjoyed the description of transforming the space into a theatre, demonstrating that rural touring isn’t always about small, intimate performances.
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "This was the largest staged production I have seen in rural venues. Full stage and lighting and sound really transformed the space, which felt like a theatre. The production quality was so high, and acting was superb." Anon

Karen Jeremiah

BIO: Growing up I was always involved in, and at my happiest when I was involved in theatre and performance. I studied Visual Arts as a mature student and that led to my passion (fuelled also by some frustration) for the arts, in all forms, being for everyone. I established a few of my own small festivals and sculpture trails where the focus was on the process of bringing people together and enabling anyone to take part at whatever level they felt comfortable with, rather than purely the end product. It was through discovering this really strong belief that led me to find the part-time administrative role at Creative Arts East. Their ethos and that of rural touring schemes as a whole seemed a perfect fit for me. I have been very fortunate to have been given opportunities and career progression well beyond my qualifications and experience and am glad that it seems to have worked out ok for me and the lovely and very supportive team I work with!
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: Surprised, to say the least! I am constantly blown away by the ambition and dedication of my rural touring peers, so feeling very humbled by this nomination.
JUDGES THOUGHTS: I love the idea of her pushing the boundaries of what rural touring can be and do!
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "Karen as a person is absolutely bursting with energy, creativity, and enthusiasm, and she has thrown all of this into developing the Creative Arts East Live! rural touring scheme into what it is today. She is a real ‘yes’ person – she is constantly striving to push the boundaries of what rural touring can be and do." Creative Arts East

Theatr Bara Caws

BIO: Bara Caws was established over forty years ago to fulfill the demand for professional theatre for
the Welsh community in the Welsh community, and we are by now the oldest professional community theatre working through the medium of Welsh. We continue to provide a unique service to our grassroots audiences at the heart of our nation and are proud to be recognised as a mainstay of the Welsh theatrical landscape.
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: We at Theatr Bara Caws are delighted to have been nominated and shortlisted for the National Rural Touring Awards 2019. It’s wonderful to know that our work continues to be appreciated throughout Wales, and we feel passionately that we must continue to strive with our mission of presenting a high quality diverse artistic programme at the very hearts of our communities. Recognition such as this nomination is greatly appreciated - thank you.
JUDGES THOUGHTS: I'm excited and moved by the fact that they make shows in Welsh, creating new work in a so-called minority language and challenging the rest of us about our ideas about what art is and what it can be.
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "Theatr Bara Caws is a community theatre company who present original, relevant work to the widest possible cross-section of people, offering theatrical experiences of the highest quality, bringing entertainment and excitement, ingenuity and relevance to the hearts of communities in Wales" Anon

Sian Allen

BIO: Brought up in rural Essex with no cinema or theatre within 20 miles, I had no concept of the arts as a professional possibility till I went to University. After uni I worked in producing and touring the main house, studio theatres, touring community, TIEand studio companies until I found my true vocation of Rural Touring. I have had the best, most creatively rich time working with fun, innovative, clever, dedicated people. Artists, volunteer promoters, fellow scheme managers have become collaborators and friends. I love collectively making opportunities for human connection that people think and talk about long after the event is over.
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: How do I feel? Honored and humbled (and TBH also a bit thrilled). Rural Touring is such a team effort - I don't think any one person can ever be assigned particular credit for any aspect of its gloriousness
JUDGES THOUGHTS: Sian is clearly a lynchpin in her local area; one of those ‘without whom’ people who are so vital to rural touring theatre and to their communities as a whole
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "Sian was totally dedicated to Arts Alive for her twenty-year tenure, during which time she put on 2,500 live performances from 700 companies in front of 125,000 people, a record that will have been surpassed by very few" Anon

I Ain't Afraid of No Ghost

Little Earthquake
BIO: Gareth Nicholls and Philip Holyman, aka Walsall-based theatre company Little Earthquake, have been together for 17 years, making work with each other for 14 years and have been married for (almost) one year.
Little Earthquake observes one commandment: “Thou Shalt Not Bore” — and our next big not boring project is MoonFest, a nine-day celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing which runs between 16th – 24th July 2019. (Our first wedding anniversary happens to coincide with the day on which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to land on the surface of the Moon.)
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: “We are very proud rural tourers — the network gives us a unique opportunity to connect with, learn from and, most of all, entertain audiences who live outside the catchment areas of major metropolitan arts venues, up and down the country.
It is thanks to the very existence of the rural touring sector — and to the hard work of the thousands of people who support it, both paid and unpaid — that artists like us get to build these lasting relationships with audiences in the first place.
Our “Favourite Performance of the Year” nomination has come directly from audience members who have experienced and enjoyed our work — and being shortlisted for this award is a massive validation of our most fundamental ambition for Little Earthquake: to make audiences the most important ingredient in everything we do.”
JUDGES THOUGHTS: This show had clearly really made the audience think about the issues, as well as entertaining them.
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "I even shed a tear as there was a real element of truth to the story. I think out of all the shows I have seen this year it was the most emotionally impactful." Anon


BIO: Bowjangles are a unique singing, dancing, comedy string quartet who are well known on the Rural Touring circuit for their musical comedy theatre shows. The group have been performing together for 11 years and in that time have travelled the world extensively performing in theatres and halls, at arts festivals, in schools, hospitals, the occasional prison and even in a forest in the dead of night. They also love performing at cabarets, private events and functions, and occasionally you might even see them on TV, or doing a street show. In 2018 Bowjangles won the coveted 'Spirit of the Fringe' Award for their show 'Excalibow' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: We have been Rural Touring for a decade now and it remains one of our favourite things to do as a group. Of course, none of it would be possible without the dedication of the staff organising the scheme menus, the devotion of the volunteer promoters or the enthusiasm of the audiences who make every show we do an absolute delight. We are truly honored to have been nominated for this award!"
JUDGES THOUGHTS: The energy in this show was palpable, and the image of people from 5 to 93 enjoying work together was brilliant.
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "Unbelievable Performance Skills - playing, singing, dancing, acrobatics, hilariously funny. Stunning all round performance. Entirely unique concept." Anon


Farnham Maltings
BIO: Farnham Maltings is a cultural organisation committed to increasing the range, quality, and audience for contemporary theatre across South East England. One key element of that work is exploring the ways we meet the needs and ambitions of villages and market towns with whom we commission, produce and tour new theatre work.
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: “Hearing that your efforts and ambitions chime with peers from across the country is both humbling and hugely motivating. Knowing that it matters, as we all do, that artists can make contemporary, experimental, playful work in village halls is a truth that needs to universally understand”
JUDGES THOUGHTS: I like the idea of the intimacy of this show
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "The story had elements that were immediately recognisable to village inhabitants. It appealed to all age groups. The audience was close to the action and became very involved in the fortunes of the characters. A little sleight of hand with the ingenious set brought the show to a magical conclusion. Ideal winter show." Anon

The northern consortium

BIO: Co-working and Partnerships: Five rural touring schemes in the North: Spot On (Lancashire); Cheshire Rural Touring; Arts Out West (West Cumbria); Highlights (East Cumbria, Northumberland, County Durham) and ArtERY live/liveLincs (East Riding of Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire), along with Arts Alive (Shropshire & Herefordshire), form an unconstituted, informal strategic alliance. The schemes have collaborated since 1999, with Arts Alive joining later, demonstrating creative programming, strength, and resilience, delivering projects to the value of over £1,000,000 in jointly commissioned tours by professional touring artists and companies from the UK and internationally. The artistic quality of work in the region is increased by working cooperatively on joint ventures and increases opportunities for artists. This method of working is often cited by ACE as a model of good practice in consortia working. The methods employed use the skills and expertise of the scheme managers. Funding bids, tour programming, management, financial leadership, and risk are shared amongst the participating schemes.
The five schemes also collaborate with other rural schemes in the north (North Yorkshire and East Cleveland). Recently we formed new relationships with the emerging Rural Touring schemes in the South Of Scotland (Ayrshire; Borders; Dumfries & Galloway).

QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: Sue Robinson: "The combination of the professional trust we have in our northern consortium partners, combined with the APA's commitment to us means we have as a consortium been able to punch above our weight, touring Canadian companies to our venues for over 15 years. Without this regional and international partnership, such activity would be simply impossible. We are very excited about this nomination!"

JUDGES THOUGHTS: This is clearly a strong and sustained partnership, delivering major benefits for their communities by working together. I loved the connection with Canada, and the reference to work in French.
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "Together the consortium also have worked together to address issues in rural touring, such as finding diverse companies and work and supporting artists to rural tour." Anon

Carn to Cove and Villages in Action

BIO: Carn to Cove is the touring scheme in Cornwall and has been running for 18 years. It has a network of 85+ village halls and community spaces and programmes around 120 events per year in two seasons. When Villages in Action, the neighbouring scheme in Devon, running a similar sized project announced its intention to close in 2017, Carn to Cove stepped in to offer the network of promoters access to its own menu parties and
subsequently won funding to stabilise the scheme and appraise several options to ensure its ultimate sustainability.

QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: We are really excited to be part of the rural touring awards this year, as they are becoming an established part of the NRTF year. We are really honoured to be shortlisted, as we know how much great work goes on in our sector and we are very much looking forward to meeting up with colleagues and friends at the Award Ceremony

JUDGES THOUGHTS: SOS rural touring: this collaboration has actually saved provision for a community, and pride in that achievement shines through in the nomination.
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "Villages in Action was to close. The promoters were very front footed about working with Carn to Cove. Despite capacity worries, the system seems to be working very well. I am proud that people cared enough. I am proud that Cornwall and Devon can work together so well. I am proud that communities care enough to keep work happening across the village halls" Anon

Inn Crowd

BIO: Inn Crowd is a partnership project from Applause Rural Touring, Creative Arts East and National Centre for Writing. The project supports rural pubs throughout the South East and East of England to host exciting and inspiring spoken word, poetry and storytelling performances in their pubs reaching and engaging with non-traditional arts audiences. This collaborative project also engages national Charity Pub is the Hub as an advisory partner supporting the project with pub industry expertise and advice. A key aspect of the project is the support Inn Crowd gives some of the UK’s best-spoken word artists to create, develop and tour their work to new areas. Started in 2016, the scope and range of the project has increased year on year with overwhelming responses from audiences and landlords alike w over 200 performances have taken place primarily in the southeast and further afield in collaboration with rural touring organisations nationally.

QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: “We are delighted that Inn Crowd has been shortlisted for an NRTF award. Our Inn Crowd partnerships and collaborations make it fabulous to be a part of’. Inn Crowd team

JUDGES THOUGHTS: This is a fabulous, ground-breaking scheme bringing performance to new spaces and bringing new life and new ideas to those spaces
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "The opportunity to host Inn Crowd performances has opened up the chance to host live events in some of our more challenging locations! Anon 

Gaynor Morgan Rees and Gwyneth Kensler

BIO: Gwyneth Kensler - Brought up in Holywell, I attended Bangor University in 1960. I married my husband in 1965 and then spent time living and working abroad. We settled in Denbigh in 1980.

After a career teaching French and Spanish, I stood as a town and county councilor in 1995 and remain a county councilor. I joined the Theatr Twm o’r Nant committee in 1983 and became secretary in 1988. About 12 years ago I successfully applied for grants of £.75m to make the theatre as DDA friendly as possible; our theatre is now flourishing thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers.
Gaynor Morgan Rees - Born and bred in AbercwmIboi, South Wales, I have been working as a professional actress on stage, radio, and television for over half a century. I moved to Denbigh in 1982; I have been a town councilor since 2004 and was mayor in 2012. I met Gwyneth in 1983 and we soon became involved with Theatr Twm o’r Nant. Since the refurbishment of the theatre 10 years ago, I have been the booking officer. The theatre has to be self-supporting since it does not receive any subsidy; we are all volunteers and give up our time for free.
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: "We are delighted to have been nominated by Night Out Wales with whom we have a close and happy relationship. Without the sponsorship of the Night Out Scheme, we would not be able to hold professional performances at Theatr Twm o’r Nant. We have a full, varied and exciting programme."
"What a surprise and also an honour. With funding for the arts so greatly reduced, we are pleased to be able to do what we can to help promote the arts in Wales."
JUDGES THOUGHTS: They have obviously done an amazing job over 20 years – people like this make the world go around
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "For over twenty years formidable double act Gaynor Morgan Rees and Gwyneth Kensler from Theatr Twm o’r Nant in Denbigh have booked performances through the Night Out scheme in both English and Welsh. In the last four years, they have promoted 36 shows (so far) and we anticipate many more to come."

David Lane

BIO: Retired businessman David has had a lifelong involvement with live performance. Realising at a very young age that he was no performer, he turned to the backstage arts and has at various times been a makeup artist, stagehand, set builder, lighting designer and operator, director, producer, and festival organiser (all unpaid!).

He stumbled across Live & Local in 2012 and immediately knew that promoting professional shows would be a fantastic opportunity to bring great art to his busy community centre. With his fabulous team of helpers, he has put on 44 shows of all genres to almost capacity audiences.
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: How do I feel? “Thrilled and surprised to be nominated, not just for me, but also for my wonderful team of helpers. Grateful to our audiences who are prepared to give something new a try; to the brilliant performers who thrill and surprise us; and to the fab Head Office staff who are always there to help us.”
JUDGES THOUGHTS: I was particularly impressed by the extent of David’s engagement with companies to expand their thinking about rural venues and audiences. This is a person who clearly lives and breathes rural touring, to the benefit not only of his own community but to people all over the UK.
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "David is an outstanding example of a forward-thinking, committed rural touring promoter who goes the extra mile, and his efforts deserve recognition." Anon 

Yvonne Brown and the committee at The Dog Inn, Belthorn

BIO: The Community of Belthorn bought the Dog Inn, their village pub, from a developer in 2015, and became Lancashire's first Community-owned pub. Part of the commitment to the community was to host a variety of events - the village doesn't have a village hall, church or church hall, so the Pub has always been the main focus of activities. We hosted our first Rural Touring event about one year after opening, in our new Community room upstairs at the pub - even before the room had a carpet! This was a performance by Howard Haigh and was a sell-out. Since then, we have hosted 2 or 3 performances each year, which have attracted both local audiences, and those travelling from further afield. Performances such as the ones we have hosted are new for the Community of Belthorn, but appear to be very much in demand. "
QUOTE FROM NOMINEE: " We are absolutely amazed to be nominated and short-listed for this award. With the help of Spot-on Lancashire, we have brought new and varied arts performances to Belthorn, and these have been well-received, and we intend to continue to offer these experiences. "
JUDGES THOUGHTS: This is a fantastic, multi-generational initiative, putting the pub at the heart of community life. I like the fact that the committee is nominated along with Yvonne, although she’s clearly a driving force!
QUOTE FROM PUBLIC NOMINATION: "All of the work Yvonne and the committee do is aimed at combating social isolation in this rural community by using the pub as a central point of contact for its residents. Spot On is incredibly proud to be one of many activities that ensure Belthorn is a thriving community and it is people like Yvonne Brown who make that happen." Anon

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champion & Support Rural touring & Rural Arts They champion, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. ACE support activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.
Between 2018 and 2022, ACE will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Arts Council Wales

Arts Council Wales are supporters of Rural Touing Arts and the Hi-Vis Conference. ACW believe the arts are central to the life and well-being of the nation. They turn this mission into actions by funding and developing the arts in Wales. Read more about what we do here.
Arts Council of Wales is an independent charity, established by Royal Charter in 1994. Its members are appointed by the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure.
Our principal sponsor is the Welsh Government. ACW also distribute funding from the National Lotteryand raise additional money where they can from a variety of public and private sector sources.
Working together with the Welsh Government, ACW are able to show how the arts are helping to meet the Government’s policy ambitions.
Their staff members are based in Colwyn Bay, Carmarthen and Cardiff Bay.

Encore Insurance

Encore Insure - Rural Touring Awards Official Sponsor!

Conference Registration

12:00 PM 06:00 PM Pontio Centre - Foyer Area

Registration for the conference will be in the Pontio Centre itself. You can register here anytime between 12 and 6 on the first day of the conference. You will then have to check in to accommodation separately (see accommodation check in on schedule for more information).

Please sign up for your evening outdoor showcase slots when you register.

If you are arriving after 6 pm please make your way up to Bar Uno where the evening showcases and dinner are taking place and we will register you there.

Cofrestru Registration

Accomodation Check In Opens

01:00 PM 08:00 PM Idwal - Ground Floor

Accommodation check-in is open from 1 pm. If you are arriving earlier than this, there will be a bag store in the Pontio centre but we ask those travelling by car to leave their bags in the boot!

Late check in to accommodation is possible after 8 pm from the security lodge but wherever possible please let them know in advance by calling: 01248 38 8088

Llety Accommodation

Welcome & Keynote

02:00 PM 02:30 PM Cinema

Welcome from NRTF Chair, Tom Speight and NRTF Director, Holly Lombardo and a Welsh welcome from Marian Wyn Jones Vice Chair Arts Council Wales.

Followed by the keynote speech, delivered by Laura Dyer, Deputy Chief Executive, Arts Council England.


Session: Listen up and Shout Out

02:30 PM 03:15 PM Cinema

Coventry University present their findings of the
NRTF three-year Social Impact Study into rural touring. 

You can read the executive summary from the final research report: https://ruraltouring.blogspot.com/2019/06/concerta-contributing-to-community.html

This session will be recorded by Graphic Recorder Helen Frost.


Concerta Breakout

03:15 PM 04:15 PM Cinema

Scheme reps only, please note this session runs alongside the first showcase.

If you are attending this session please make your way to the front of the tea break queue, and take your drinks back in to the cinema with you.

CONCERTA workshops - Break out sessions for reps from each scheme to get practical advice on how to use the research findings for their organisation. Including a more detailed presentation on understanding the maps and the data they show.

This will be your only chance to speak directly to the researchers and ask any questions you may have.


Tea Break

03:15 PM 03:45 PM Foyer

Cuppa and a catch up for those not in the CONCERTA break out.

Showcase: Taking Flight 'You've Got Dragons'

03:50 PM 04:15 PM Studio

“Dragons come when you least expect it. You turn round…and they’re there.”

Lots of people get them; bad dreams, swirly tummy, feeling prickly. And sometimes they make you feel alone. So, what can a young child with a bad case of the dragons do?

A delightful tale of one child’s journey to come to terms with their dragons told in Taking Flight’s unique style. With live, original music, this highly visual, sensitive production is a humorous and touching exploration of the dragons we all face.

An intergenerational show, featuring creative captioning, interwoven BSL and audio description, You’ve Got Dragons is a treat for the whole family. And remember… “No dragon is more powerful than YOU!”


Showcase: Nearly There Yet 'Home Sweet Home'

04:20 PM 04:45 PM Studio

Home Sweet Home is a show which everyone can relate to. If you’ve been in a room full of people and felt like you didn’t belong there, or if you’ve had someone say something to you that made you feel really small but you didn’t say anything, then this is the show for you. It’s also really entertaining. People have laughed a lot while watching it. A few people cried too.

It starts in a front room but then lots of stories get told – stories about where names come from, about Freddie Mercury, about flooded houses, stories about circus, and stories about holding a tiny child in your arms.You get taken away from that front room and then right back again.

Described as “wonderful and truly moving” and “a heartfelt exploration into belonging” by audiences, Home Sweet Home is funny, engaging, and accessible. It is entirely self-contained and the get in takes approximately two hours with full lights or 1 hour without.

The show is loud and quiet and funny and sad. It works in a variety of spaces and is a brilliant night out that will stick with you for ages.


Break & Accommodation Check In

04:45 PM 05:30 PM Your rooms or the bar

Scheduled down time.

This is your chance to check in to your accommodation (details below) if you haven't already done so.

You will have already signed up for your outdoor showcases so please make sure you have noted what time you will need to head back to the Pontio Centre if you intend to head up to the accommodation which is a 10-15 minute walk away, and there may be a queue for check-in.

Accommodation Check In

Accommodation check-in is open from 1 pm. If you are arriving earlier than this, there will be a bag store in the Pontio centre but we ask those travelling by car to leave their bags in the boot!

Late check in to accommodation is possible after 8 pm from the security lodge but wherever possible please let them know in advance by calling: 01248 38 8088

Showcase in the Caban: Sian Miriam 'To breathe / Môr-fonolog'

05:30 PM 07:15 PM The Caban

Arddangosfeydd Awyr Agored (Outdoor showcases)

Sian Miriam is a Songster and Storyteller who will be performing 5 sets of bilingual song and spoken word for 15 people at a time. This session will be running on a first come first serve basis and runs alongside the other Outdoor Showcase.

Set times are as follows:
  • 5.30 - 5.45
  • 5.50 - 6.05
  • 6.10 - 6.25 BSL Interpreted 
  • 6.30 - 6.45
  • 6.50 - 7.05

Outdoors Showcase: Eric Maclennan 'The Open Air Drawing Room'

05:30 PM 07:15 PM Outside PL2 (unless wet, and then we will be inside!)

Arddangosfeydd Awyr Agored (Outdoor showcases)

Eric MacLennan, Applause Outdoors

The Open Air Drawing-Room ... begins with an antiquated artists drawing group, setting up for some landscape painting. Arrival and unpacking of folding stools, easels, flasks, other knick-knacks and sandwiches etc. But this is no ordinary show - for the audience will be drawn into the group!

Inspired by JMW Turner. A story that delightfully mixes historical biography with the fast contemporary world we now occupy. An invitation to slow-down. Paint a stone - for Turner - for The Turner Contemporary! Selected from...31 stones - a “mini-museum” - each one from the coast of the British Isles and named after the atmospheric areas of the shipping forecast. These stones were old when Turner was young. They will still be here when we are gone. We consider Time. We consider Art.

Each artist (audience member) also makes a Cyanotype portrait which will be exhibited as a mirror image to the final painting - A Sea of Faces - embracing Turner’s pioneering interest in photography and his desire to find new ways to embrace art.

This project invites the public to engage in setting the world record for a painting that has been created by the largest number of artists!
Co-commissioned with Applause Rural Touring and Turner Contemporary, Margate who will host the Turner prize in October 2019.

This show will be performed twice during the evening and runs alongside the showcase in the Caban. You will have the opportunity to see both artists.


Walk to Bar Uno

07:15 PM 07:30 PM Go to

Walk to Bar Uno, see map location.

This is another chance to check in to accommodation (which is conveniently close to the beer!)

BBQ Dinner

07:30 PM 09:00 PM Bar Uno

BBQ dinner with music by Truckstop Honeymoon.

Truckstop Honeymoon - Music

07:30 PM 09:00 PM Bar Uno

Hollering with all their hearts over a five string banjo and a doghouse bass, Truckstop Honeymoon live the life they sing about. Touring across three continents with four kids and a truck load of songs, Katie and Mike West tell stories about the strangeness of everyday life. Their music combines elements of bluegrass, music hall jazz, and straight up rock’n’roll. They have released nine albums and a full length documentary film, produced over two hundred albums for other artist, and received awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.


Showcase: Maria Ferguson 'Essex Girl' (Inn Crowd)

09:00 PM 10:00 PM Bar Uno

Essex Girl courtesy of the Inn Crowd, Applause Rural Touring

“Essex Girl: a young working-class woman from the Essex area, typically considered as being unintelligent, materialistic, devoid of taste and sexually promiscuous.”Collins English Dictionary

Kirsty is a sixteen-year-old girl growing up in ’00s Brentwood. She likes WKD, Elton John, Pie & Mash and Charlie Red body spray. She’s on a quest to win Sexy Ricky’s heart and pass her GCSEs. She also has a secret to tell you. One she can’t tell anyone else.

Follow Kirsty’s story through the house parties and Irish pubs of Essex. From West Ham matches to choir practice, pre-drinks to registration, she will tell you what it’s really like to be an Essex Girl.


Room Check Out

07:00 AM 08:00 AM

For those leaving on Day 2 please ensure you have checked out by 8.00am

Guests can check out by posting the key in the express check out box to the left of the sliding doors in Idwal or with security.

For those of you travelling by public transport, bags can be left in the Pontio Box Office.


08:00 AM 09:15 AM Bar Uno


09:00 AM 05:15 PM Pontio Centre - Foyer Area

Registration for the conference will be in the Pontio Centre itself. You can register here anytime between 9 am and 5.15 pm on the second day of the conference.

You will then have to check in to accommodation from 1 pm separately (see accommodation check in on schedule for more information).

If you are arriving after 5.15pm please make your way to the Neuadd Reichel Building and we will register you there.

Welcome to day 2 plus Wriggle, Giggle & Jiggle with Gail Ferrin

09:30 AM 09:50 AM Cinema

Welcome to Day Two of the conference with Holly and Tom. a chance to hear the plans for the day and any announcements.

Plus Wriggle, Giggle and Jiggle with Gail to get your energy moving - leave your inhibitions at the door!


Showcase: Mr & Mrs Clark 'Louder is not Always Clearer'

09:55 AM 10:20 AM Studio

Mr & Mrs Clarke - Louder Is Not Always Clearer (RTDI Menu 4 Show)

Meet Jonny. Jonny is a teacher, a workshop leader and an avid football fan. He’s an artist, a campaigner and he’s just become a father. He is also deaf. He loves to dance, but he can’t hear the music unless the bass is turned right up.

Jonny was born deaf and grew up in a hearing family, surrounded by hearing friends who did not use the word deaf. In fact, some of those people didn’t know Jonny was deaf until they saw this show.

The Show

Louder is Not Alway Clearer is about the importance of connecting with others and how hard it can be to do so. It��s the story of one man, who despite appearing to be sociable and confident is also vulnerable and at times isolated. It’s the very human story of trying to fit into a world when you don’t quite match the mould. In a hearing world, Jonny is different and Louder Is Not Always Clearer highlights those differences in a warm and humorous way.

Using projection and mime, dance and drawing along with Johnny’s natural charm and humour this show brings the audience together, gets them on their feet and has them singing and sign-ing along in no time.

Selling points for promoters:
  • This is a story hearing and none hearing audiences alike can relate to
  • The show is accessible for deaf and hard of hearing audiences
  • It’s a true story told in a warm and humorous way
  • Jonny is a natural performer and will charm your audiences


Showcase: Quick Duck 'Yours Sincerely'

10:25 AM 10:50 AM Studio

What happens when Will Jackson accidentally steals 300 second class stamps from the post office? Storytelling and lip-sync cabaret collide in this queer coming-of-age comedy about the complications of 21st-century communication. Originally developed by Birmingham REP and one of Lyn Gardner's 'Shows to watch' at VAULT Festival 2019.
Previous praise:
Birmingham Post
Yours Sincerely EdFringe Square Festival Image.jpg


Coffee break

10:55 AM 11:20 AM Foyer

Coffee Break

Big Conversations: Diversity in a Rural Context

11:25 AM 12:25 PM Cinema

Panellists give snapshots of their work and driving passions followed by a Big Conversation driven by your questions.

What are the challenges and opportunities around diversity for our predominantly monocultural rural areas? In a world increasingly divided along partisan lines, what role can Rural Touring play in bringing communities together and embracing difference?

More panellists coming soon.


Lunch Cinio

12:30 PM 01:30 PM PL2

Hot Topic Conversations

12:30 PM 01:30 PM Wherever the balloons are!

Do you have a 'Hot Topic' question you'd like to discuss with other conference delegates? Now is your chance.

Over lunch, you can take a helium balloon, write your topic onto the balloon, and then take it with you to your table (or wherever you choose to sit). The balloon is an invitation to other delegates to come and discuss your question/topic with you.

Accommodation Check In

01:00 PM 08:00 PM Idwal Building

Accommodation check-in is open from 1 pm. If you are arriving earlier than this, there will be a bag store in the Pontio centre but we ask those travelling by car to leave their bags in the boot!

Late check in to accommodation is possible after 8 pm from the security lodge but wherever possible please let them know in advance by calling: 01248 38 8088

Showcase: Two Gents 'Comedy of Errors'

01:35 PM 02:05 PM Studio

Shakespeare's classic comedy about mistaken identity, loss, journey, family, confusion and high jinks are brought to life in our classic Two Gents bare-boned, interactive theatre style. Our aim, as ever, is to celebrate the playful fun that can be had with Shakespeare's early comedy but also to tease out the more serious undertones that relate to our contemporary experience of migration and displacement.
Our aim is to cast a company of not two but three actors in this production and not only gents, either.


Showcase: Christina Murdock 'Dangerous Giant Animals

02:10 PM 02:40 PM Studio

A kick. A scream. A tantrum. In this family, what’s allowed?

DANGEROUS GIANT ANIMALS is a darkly comedic show about finding your voice amid your sister's screams. Funny and daring this new one-woman play explores how surreal challenging and remarkable disability in a family can be. Featuring divas and dinosaurs this is a middle child story about growing up too soon alongside a sister who never will.


Big Conversations: Promoters, Partnerships and Audience Development

02:45 PM 03:45 PM Cinema

A session specifically for Promoters and Scheme Managers to discuss the opportunities for expanding audiences and working with partners to develop great ideas.

Three projects which have set out to reach a wider audience will give a short presentation to kick start the conversation:
  • Sue Robinson. Director of Culturapedia and Spot On Lancashire will talk about their partnership with Libraries.
  • Dawn Badland. Director Applause Rural Touring will talk about their Pub programme, the Inn Crowd
  • Natalie Jode. Director of Creative Arts East will talk about working with Young Promoters.

The session will be facilitated by Tom Speight, Chair of the NRTF and a Promoter in his own village in Cumbria.Tom also works for the BBC


Tea break

03:45 PM 04:15 PM Outside the Cinema

Using Social Media beyond 'Buy Tickets'

04:15 PM 05:15 PM PL2

Using Social Media beyond 'Buy Tickets'

A bite-sized look at using video creatively to engage audiences with your work, venue and shows. Followed by a make your own '30 Second Video' challenge.

Delivered by Stephie Jessop NRTF Communications Manager / RTDI Marketing Manager / Spot On Lancashire Creative Producer


Break - Day to Evening!

05:15 PM 06:15 PM

Get your glad rags on ready for your 3 course sit down dinner, 2019 Rural Touring Award Ceremony and a good old Welsh knees up! 

Drinks on the Terrace

06:00 PM 06:45 PM Reichel Building


06:45 PM 08:15 PM Neuadd Reichel (Main Room Reichel Building)

Swper Gwobrwyo   Awards Dinner

Get your glad rags and diamante on and step on the red carpet - Three-course dinner and prizes in the great hall!

Music from ALAW

08:15 PM 08:25 PM Neuadd Reichel (Main Room Reichel Building)


National Rural Touring Awards

08:30 PM 09:45 PM Neuadd Reichel (Main Room Reichel Building)

NRTF Awards Ceremony, hosted by Kate Fox

It's time to celebrate the very best Rural Touring has to offer with the annual Rural Touring Awards.

Read more about all this years Rural Touring Award nominees here: https://ruraltouring.blogspot.com/2019/06/full-details-of-rural-touring-award.html

Supported by Encore Insure


Twmpath (Ceilidh)

09:45 PM 10:45 PM Penrhyn

It's time for a good old knees up with the fabulous Welsh band Alaw!

ALAW is three leading musicians who bring a wealth of experience to a shared passion – the traditional music of Wales. Whether unearthing rare gems or reimagining a well-loved melody they treat their music with a deftness and sensitivity that is thoroughly absorbing. Combined with powerful songwriting and original tunes, this makes for a musical experience that will stay with the listener long after the concert has ended.

Oli, Jamie and Dylan have a long history of working together, sharing projects such as The Devil’s Violin, Szapora and The Ian McMillan Orchestra. Oli and Jamie are well known throughout the folk world as the frontline of Jamie Smith’s Mabon. From stirring song to driving jigs – they communicate their music with relaxed humour and genuine affection that is truly infectious.



07:00 AM 08:00 AM

You must check out of your rooms before breakfast today.

Guests can check out by posting the key in the express check out box to the left of the sliding doors in Idwal or with security.

For those of you travelling by public transport, bags can be left in the Pontio Box Office.


08:00 AM 09:30 AM Bar Uno

Lunch will be late today! Have a big breakfast (you may need it after last night anyway)!


09:00 AM 10:30 AM Pontio Centre - Foyer


09:30 AM 10:00 AM Cinema

The NRTF Annual General Meeting is open to anyone however, those who can vote or nominate motions are Scheme Members only.
The documents you need are here.
AGM lead by Tom Speight, Chair of National Rural Touring Forum

Welcome, Round Up and Giggle, Wriggle & Jiggle with Gail

10:00 AM 10:15 AM Cinema

The final round up of the conference and a chance to wake up after last nights award ceremony: Wriggle, Jiggle and Giggle with Gail


Presentation: Four in Four 'Gods & Kings'

10:20 AM 10:40 AM Cinema

Gods and Kings - Challenging perceptions of what it is to live with mental illness, Gods & Kings is a bracingly honest and often hugely funny real-life story. Presented by Writer and Director, Paul Whittaker.


Big Conversations: Arts and Health in a Rural Context

10:40 AM 11:40 AM Cinema

Panellists give snapshots of their work and driving passions followed by a Big Conversation driven by your questions.


Coffee break

11:40 AM 12:00 PM Foyer

Showcase: Candoco Dance 'A Graceful Act of Stupidity'

12:05 PM 12:35 PM PL2

Candoco showcase a short extract from their piece 'A Graceful Act of Stupidity' by Tom Roden.

This is a big welcome aboard. We promise a flight like no other.
Join our two flight attendants as they take you on a journey that slips
seamlessly between the every day and the poetic. Brace yourself for a playful, yet poignant ride on this most unusual aeroplane, fast-propelling you towards the inevitable.

Danced with charm and cheek, the two performers interweave delicious full-bodied dancing with spoken word, gestural detail and British Sign Language.

This masterful choreography is a microcosm of joy and pathos.
A Graceful Act of Stupidity is your entire life in a moment. It’s time to check-in.


Rural Touring Dance Iinitiative Presentations

12:40 PM 01:10 PM PL2

A chance to hear from the new RTDI Commissions.

Presentation 1: 
Jo Fong & George Orange 'Rest of Their Lives'

Presentation 2: 
Vicky Wilson (Joan Cleville), Antigone Interrupted


Conference Wrap Up

01:10 PM 01:20 PM PL2


Lunch (Cinio) & Farewell

01:20 PM 02:00 PM Pick up from outside PL2

A packed lunch, so you can grab and go if you wish, or stay and catch up with colleagues.

Please allow those attending the RTDI session to jump the queue!

RTDI Dance Ambassadors Meeting for Promoters and Scheme Managers

01:30 PM 03:00 PM PL2

A great opportunity for Dance Ambassadors, Promoters and scheme managers to be together as a group for the first time and start talking about the great things that have happened and lessons learnt so far and what the future might look like for rural dance promoting. Chaired by Ed Collier ( China Plate ) and Eddie Nixon (The Place) with contributions from Holly and Claire from NRTF.