AN EXCITING new theatre touring partnership with internationally acclaimed theatre producers Battersea Arts Centre is arriving in Torbay this month.
Showcasing three signature productions (see panel) from the arts centre alongside a collection of home-grown talent, the partnership is aimed at developing new ways of touring and presenting theatre over the next three years — and discovering new local talent.
The project is worth £1million over three years between the six areas involved, including Torbay.
As part of Torbay's Doorstep Arts programme — delivered by Torbay Council's Creative Torbay team — this touring scheme will provide amazing theatre opportunities in non-traditional theatre spaces. It will also create opportunities for performance for regional theatre-makers, workshops with artists, new regular weekly offerings for participating in theatre locally, and strong links to existing theatre groups in Torbay. Local schools and theatre groups are lining up to take part.
Local talent might be spotted by Battersea producers and then invited up to London to work up shows which may then end up touring the UK.
During the month, the touring shows will perform at Parkfield Youth Centre, the Acorn Youth Centre, Barton, The Edge (Brixham) and at two local primary schools: St Marychurch Primary and Preston Primary, Paignton. Bringing theatre to these spaces will also create ongoing arts involvement for children and young people under the banner of Doorstep Arts with the aim of inspiring young people to enter the professions and become audiences of future.
Ticket prices are kept low to encourage participation.
Working with local promoters in Torbay, Hull, Great Yarmouth, Gloucester, Darlington and Thanet, Kent, Battersea Arts Centre will tour three lead shows to each location, which will be performed as part of locally curated festivals of theatre and performance.
Cllr Dave Butt, Torbay Council's executive lead for culture and the arts, said: "This is fantastic news. Teaming up with such a prestigious company, so highly renowned for the quality of its work, is a brilliant coup for Torbay.
"This three-year partnership, which has been made possible thanks to a generous grants from the Arts Council and Esmee Fairbain Foundation, will help us realise our ambition to bring the very best of all artistic art forms to the Bay and into the hearts of our local communities."
David Jubb, artistic director at Battersea Arts Centre, said: "This exciting new partnership is at the heart of our mission to invent the future of theatre. We are thrilled to be working with such a brilliant group of partners in six different locations around the country."
Torbay Council and partners will work in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre, selecting three shows to tour here every autumn and spring between for three years. The touring performances will be supported by local participatory theatre activity at key Torbay sites, working with regional artists and arts organisations to develop strong and ongoing opportunities for young people to get involved with theatre and the arts locally.
This first touring season is part of an innovative new touring model, the Collaborative Touring Network, which has been developed through a series of consultations between artists, regional promoters and Battersea Arts Centre to find ways to enrich the touring experience for artists, promoters and audiences.