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Your Village Hall needs you – to support live performance!

Rural Arts is calling for people who live in villages around North Yorkshire and the Tees Valley to support live performance taking place in their local village halls.  

ON Tour is a scheme that brings live performance to village halls across North Yorkshire and the Tees Valley. 2022 marks the scheme’s 25th anniversary, and each year thousands of audience members enjoy high-quality theatre, music, dance and move – right on their doorstep. 

Natasha Glew, who manages the ON Tour scheme, says: “The last few years have been difficult – and we know some challenges aren’t going away – but we’re asking everyone who’s able to think about getting out to support live performance in their village halls. Without your support, the scheme may struggle in future years – and these villages will certainly be a less vibrant place to live.” 

Research demonstrates that having access to culture improves wellbeing, community cohesion and social connections. This is particularly true for people in rural villages, where isolation can be exacerbated by poor transport links, infrastructure and dwindling public services and amenities like pubs and shops. 

“Theatrical shows, comedy performances and music nights all help bring communities together in an enjoyable way” says Dave Gaskill, a volunteer promoter. 

“Rural Arts help village halls like Terrington make events like these possible”.  

ON Tour is delivered across the county by dozens of volunteers, who programme, promote and manage the performance on the night on behalf of their community venue. 

ON Tour supports local communities by increasing investment in villages, contributing to the circular economy and by reducing the carbon footprint of those travelling to access performance elsewhere. By utilising local venues, ON Tour is also great for people without access to transport, or with access needs. Ticket prices vary across the region to consider those on low incomes and are always significantly less expensive than a performance. 

The quality, however, does not suffer. From 3rd September, 52 performances will take place across over 30 venues, including the lively and dynamic Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, one-woman circus show Power and award-winning children’s performance from Storycraft Theatre. The season is rounded out with music from honey-voiced Edwina Hayes as well as folk and Flamenco duo Skinner and T’witch. Comedy theatre is represented in who-done-it The Killer Question and spoken-word How To Be A Better Human. A brand-new production of Cinderella will wrap up the season for families at Christmas. 

“At Rural Arts, we’re very proud of the quality and diversity of performance that ON Tour brings to North Yorkshire and the Tees Valley. There really is something for everyone,” continues Natasha. “Most people have probably seen an ON Tour show over the last twenty-five years and not even known it was us. So whether you’re a regular attendee or new to ON Tour, please come out and support live performance in your community venue this Autumn!”