Changes at Cheshire Rural Touring Arts

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For the last four years the Community Centre has developed a strong relationship with Cheshire Rural Touring Arts and together they have brought a wonderful mix of productions to the village. The Committee has welcomed the challenge to promote a wide range of great shows, cumulating perhaps in the performance of Beryl by the West Yorkshire Playhouse in October. Essential to this success has been the strong working relationship developed between the Community Centre and the two Rural Touring staff, Claire Smith and Jen Henry.
The Committee were aware of the coming maternity leave of Jen, but were surprised to hear that Claire is to leave in the New Year to take up a position with the National Rural Touring organisation. Sue Hardacre, Promoter for the Community Centre said "Both Claire and Jen have given us a huge amount of support to help us bring high quality theatrical performances to the Community Centre. They have a wealth of knowledge about the artistic world and a thorough understanding of the complexities of arts funding that underpins this. While we wish Claire every success in her new job and look forward to welcoming Jen back in the future, we are a little stunned at the sudden pace of change".

Cheshire Rural Touring Arts is funded largely by the Arts Council, and receives support from both Cheshire West and Cheshire East Councils. They have a number of on-going legal agreements with other rural schemes and sit within the CW&C's Arts and Festivals organisation. They are confident that this unusual and unique relationship will allow for a new Officer to be appointed and for their excellent work to be continued.

What is certain is that the spring programme will not be affected and performances and dates for new productions in the Community Centre are being finalised. On March 11th there will be a wonderful children's show Tadpoles, a return visit by the M6 Theatre Company, and on April 8th something completely different, Bane, a performance with one actor, one musician and 40 characters!

Sue said " Change is always a bit disconcerting, but can also bring new enthusiasm and excitement to an organisation. We look forward to the links between us being strengthened in the future".

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