Rural Arts Network in Excellent Shape

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The Community Centre was represented at the annual Promoters meeting at Ellesmere Port on Sunday (Feb. 9th). The event was held at Action Transport Theatre premises in Whitby Hall and brought together a number of the promoters in Cheshire who work so hard to bring excellent quality, professional drama to local Village Halls, Parish Rooms and Community Centres, 33 organisations now take part.

The event provides an opportunity to swap ideas and experiences. Though all organisations are different, all share many of the same challenges and problems. Building an audience is a perennial concern and there are a number of interesting strategies used. Social Media is becoming more important and promoters were encouraged to start using on-line ticketing to reach a different, time-poor customer. However, some venues are so small that the audience is known by name and receives a personal invitation — almost!

Funding for Cheshire Rural Touring Arts, and the other national schemes, has been secured from the Arts Council for the next 3 years, in return CRTA are expected to collect more data on audiences — so expect a new feed-back form after performances. Having been encouraged to mentor and promote new, cutting edge and experimental theatre, CRTA is now being asked to look at addressing the problem of diversity. This might be a bit more challenging, though there is no reason to suppose that rural audiences are unwilling to tackle such subjects.

Canje Kunda

The event always offers a chance to see some new work in development and the offerings this year were a treat.First a young Manchester based performance poet, Chanje Kunda gave us a glimpse of her new piece, Amsterdam, which combines dance and music with precise wit and soaring imagination and tells the tale of a risk taken and a dream pursued. Go to www.chanjekunda.com to see more of this exciting young artist


Red Dragonfly

Another Manchester based group, Red Dragonfly Productions, gave us The Autumn of Han, a modern retelling of a popular Chinese legend set in the Han dynasty of the first century BC. The company are second generation Chinese and Asians actors who are creating works that give an accessible insight into a complex literary and cultural tradition.

www.reddragonflyproductions.co.uk will give you a flavour of what they are doing.

Either of these productions would be very welcome in Tarvin if they are available in the autumn schedule on the right dates — and at the right price! Whatever the choices eventually made you can be sure that the quality will be superb.

For more information on all the forthcoming events at the Community Centre go to www.tarvincommunitycentre.org or www.facebook.com/tarvincc