Comments Off on Villages in Action statement on Coronavirus
In the light of the latest government announcement regarding the ban on travel and theatre visits, as well as a rising number of concerns raised by our promoters, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel all the remaining Villages in Action events for the spring 2020 season. We hope to reschedule as many events as possible for the future and will update our website as soon as we are able to confirm.
All audiences who bought tickets in advance for Villages in Action events are in the process of being refunded by Ticketsource, and customers will receive an email about this. Anybody who has paid for tickets locally should contact the local promoter for a refund.
Whilst we are unable to deliver our live events this season, we are committed to supporting our artists as much as we can. To assist in meeting some part of the performing artists’ costs, we ask that, if you can, audiences might consider donating the cost of their ticket to Villages in Action. Any amount donated would make a huge difference to our organisation – if you would like to donate, you can do so here.
We aim to keep the office open but are following government advice on home working and so some members of the team may not be available to answer calls and receive visits. Please email with any queries and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
We thank you for your patience and understanding at this time.
Claire, Tim, Mair & Imogen The Villages in Action Team (updated 19th March 2020)
Jaw Jaw is a new Villages in Action project to extend the reach of our performance events into the homes and lives of those most isolated and lonely – both young and old – in our rural communities. The project is designed to test new online methods of supporting these groups and bringing some of the joy and fun that rural touring provides in our area by working with health and social care partners active in our communities. Performing groups including Devon-based Jane Mason Dance and Wren Music will support a programme of online interactive taster programmes to draw these audiences into our fold.
We are using Voice Activated Devices which will allow members of the community with little or no keyboard skills to access online workshops, drop-in sessions and cafe-style events from their own homes. The devices have been purchased with support from Smartline’s Idea Generation Grant was which has allowed us to develop the initial equipment infrastructure, research and development costs to allow creative practitioners to target specific audiences.
Apart from involuntary isolation because of geographic location, many isolated and lonely people are so because they believe they have nobody to talk to or meet with, and, worse still, don’t have much reason to do so. Therefore, simply giving them easier access to online services and communication systems achieves little. However, despite offering captivating reasons to connect and an easy way of doing so, there is still the task of persuading individuals to take the first steps toward engagement with Jaw-Jaw and to continue to do so. Using the Alexa platform helps overcome this, not only by giving those with little or no computer skills an easy way to connect to Jaw Jaw (and other online services) but also by facilitating the delivery of proactive ‘push’ notifications, reminders, automated alarms and schedules. In this way, individuals can be actively encouraged to engage in activities rather than passively relying on them to remember or care to connect.
We have just taken receipt of the devices and our community leaders and artists are now becoming familiar with them and we will be rolling them out to participants who will be referred to us by GP practices and social prescribers in the next few weeks.
Comments Off on Celebrating Village Halls Week 2020
Village Halls Week is an annual and national celebration of rural community spaces and the people whose time and dedication keep them going.
Organised by the ACRE Network, the campaign runs from Monday 20th January – Sunday 26th January 2020 and sees a huge variety of events happening across England.
We’d like to put the spotlight on Devon’s village halls and community spaces, so here’s how you can get involved:
Celebrate your hall
If you would like to put the spotlight on your hall there are a number of opportunities throughout the week. We would love to hear about how you’re using your village hall, what events you’re attending or hosting, and see pictures and videos of your local hall. Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter!
Share your history on 23rd January
Thursday 23 January will see halls celebrating ‘Throwback Thursday’, an online trend that looks into the past. To share your hall’s history, simply use your social media account (Twitter or Facebook) and use the hashtags ‘#tbt’ and ‘#villagehallsweek’. You could put up old pictures, old flyers, remember significant guests, share an old film or write an article on your hall’s history.
Comments Off on Our Spring 2020 performance programme has sprung!
We are very excited to present our spring 2020 programme of theatre, dance, music, and more in villages across Devon.
As our spring season begins, we are delighted to present a new programme of theatre, music, dance and family shows from across the world in Devon’s wonderful and varied village halls, churches, pubs and community spaces.
Our season starts with award-winning folk duo Ninebarrow, who combining breath-taking vocal harmonies and melodies to deliver songs and stories inspired by the landscape and history of the British Isles. An evening with the duo isn’t just a concert with superb music – it’s also a night of folklore and storytelling at its very best.
The season continues with Flats and Sharps, a four-piece Bluegrass outfit originally from Penzance, Cornwall. Delivering energetic, enthusiastic and spirited performances, their shows are a fresh and modern outlook on foot-stomping Bluegrass with powerful and well-crafted original songs. Their music blends strong harmonies and stonking solos, and their incredible stage presence and energy will have you dancing, laughing and singing along in no time!
The Neil Maya Quartet – 1959: The Golden Year of Jazz
More great music comes from The Neil Maya Quartet, who present 1959: The Golden Year of Jazz. 1959 is often considered an extremely influential year in the development of modern jazz with a number of new sub-genres within jazz coming to the fore in this year. This special year spawned some of jazz’s finest albums of all times, including Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and Dave Brubeck’s Time Out. Neil has been developing the concept of creating a performance focusing on the music of this seminal year for two years, following the band’s very successful Brubeck Project. These performances are ones not to miss!
In the early hours of Thursday 8 August 1963, the heist of the century is underway. Signals are scrambled, phone lines cut and millions of pounds of cash stolen. Five days later the first clues are found, the gang is busted and the rest is history. But what about the ones that got away? Using a raucous combination of physical theatre, live music and clowning, Scratchworks Theatre will unfold the untold tale of the four feisty forgotten females from The Great Train Robbery, as they leave behind their kitchen-sink lives and embark on a madcap adventure of mischief and mayhem.
Johnny’s putting on a Big Fun fundraiser tonight at the Nags Head, though he’s not in the mood for fun… HORSES! HORSES! is the darkly comical tale of a stolen horse, wild west-country soul and the mess we make of relationships. Landlord Johnny is desperately trying to save his pub, while his wife Susie is hiding out on Ted’s farm. A show performed in the midst of the local boozer with pub games, pints, crisps, heartbreak and laughter, country music, lots of karaoke and a few surprises.
Drawing on ideas related to deep time, the night sky and landscapes of being, Night Flying is a dance duet with long-time collaborator David Williams. Together they explore a constellation of associations related to memory, change and wonder.
Jonny is a teacher, a workshop leader and an avid football fan. He’s an artist, a campaigner, he’s just become a father, and he is 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 with a hearing family and friends who did not use the word deaf.
This one-man show is an honest portrayal of a man perceived to be full of confidence and who is outwardly social but is inwardly vulnerable and at times isolated. In a hearing world, Jonny is different and Louder Is Not Always Clearer highlights those differences in a warm and humorous way.
The show is accessible to D/deaf, hard of hearing and hearing audiences through the use of spoken English, British Sign Language and creative captions.
This is Chaucer… but not as you’ve ever seen it. From the company that brought you A Christmas Carol, Dracula and The Odyssey comes a one-man performance of The Canterbury Tales. Revered as one of the most important works in English literature, The Canterbury Tales paints an ironic and critical portrait of English society in the middle-ages. All of life is here in these few bawdy, funny, serious and sometimes shocking, short stories. Experience a journey down the foul and fetid footpaths of fourteenth-century England, told with the usual irreverence, wit and silliness!
There are two types of people: the ones who move away, and the ones who stay and wait…
Pepper and Honey is a new play about two women questioning the meaning of home. The play is timed to perfection in order to deliver a perfect Croatian pepper biscuit, baked in front of, and with the help of, a live audience.
The baking process is intertwined with a story of what it is like to settle in a different country, leaving and returning and making and breaking family traditions.
Howard Coggins and Stuart Mcloughlin can no longer rely on apparent physical resemblances to Tudor monarchs. They’ve done Henry VIII, and the truth is neither of them looks like anyone else. But they won’t be deterred. They’re just going to have to dig a little deeper. Act a little better. Live a little dangerous-er, as they attempt to tell the story of the greatest Monarch that ever lived – Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen.
Thomas Bowes is one of the UK’s most versatile and accomplished violinists, as a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster and artistic director. In 2013 Tom undertook an extensive Bach Pilgrimage, giving fifty concerts of the unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas of JS Bach in churches across mainland Britain and raising over £20,000 for various charities. His Bach Pilgrimage is now a growing feature of every season and events take him all over the world.
Comments Off on Job opportunity – Villages in Action is recruiting!
Villages in Action, a Devon rural touring scheme run by Carn to Cove, is looking to recruit a Part-time Project Co-ordinator for funding and advocacy.
Villages in Action has been promoting the arts in rural south Devon for over 25 years and offers a ‘menu’ of high quality arts performances to a network of volunteer promoters who pick from the choice of events for their village halls and community centres. Villages in Action covers the local authority areas of Mid, East, South and West Devon, Teignbridge and South Hams.
ViA is looking for a flexible, creative and self-motivated person to support in developing the Villages in Action network, and in creating a sustainable future for the scheme. Your key role will be to develop relationships with established and emerging artists in the rural touring sector, with key arts organisations, and with non-arts organisations to widen the role of the arts in rural communities. You will be supporting and developing ViA’s relationships with current funders, and identifying opportunities for additional funding streams.
You will be working with a small, dedicated and experienced team who are based in Cornwall. However, this post will be based at Exeter Northcott Theatre, Devon. You will be working with scattered, mainly rural communities and stakeholders, so you will need to be able to travel independently with your own transport.
Title: Project Co-ordinator, Funding & Advocacy Salary: In the range £23,500 to £25,000 fte, dependent on skills and experience Hours: 0.4fte (15 hours a week), fixed term contract until August 2021. This may be extended if further funding is raised Start date: Week beginning 6th January 2020 Office base: Exeter Northcott Theatre (the postholder will have flexibility on days and some travel by car and unsocial hours will be required). There will be a standard six month probationary period.
The employer for this post is Creative Kernow, Cornwall’s leading creative sector support organisation. Creative Kernow runs a number of projects in Cornwall, with the key ones being Krowji, the creative workspace cluster in Redruth; the Carn to Cove rural touring scheme; the Cornwall 365 listings and cultural tourism project; the European funded Cultivator skills and business programme; Screen Cornwall and the FEAST community arts programme. This post supports the Carn to Cove team to programme two seasons per year of live performances throughout southern Devon as part of the Locomotor project, delivered in partnership with Villages in Action.
How to apply
Please download the job description and application forms below, and email your completed application form to firstname.lastname@example.org 9am on Friday 6th December 2019.
Comments Off on #ThanksToYou National Lottery players
We’re saying #ThanksToYou to National Lottery players with free tickets to selected Villages in Action shows this autumn.
This year is the 25th Birthday of The National Lottery, and we’re excited to be a part of the celebrations by joining in the #ThanksToYou campaign, which celebrates the contribution of National Lottery players in supporting good causes over the past 25 years!
Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community – that’s £30 million a week making a difference to lives of people and communities throughout the whole of the UK. The 25th birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had on the UK, and to say thank you to National Lottery players for contributing around £30 million to good causes every week.
To thank National Lottery players for their support, we will be offering 2 free tickets to our performances on 23rd, 24th, 29th and 30th November. The first two people to present any National Lottery ticket on these dates will be able to take up this special offer. Please check our full terms and conditions below.
As a recipient of National Lottery funding, Villages in Action has been able to programme a wide variety of events in villages and rural communities in Devon. We are one of the hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded projects across the UK who are taking part in the #ThanksToYou campaign in this special Birthday year.
The offer is limited to one show ticket per person
Tickets must be reserved in advance by calling 01209 312500 during office hours (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm)
A National Lottery ticket must be presented at the venue on the night of the performance.
All National Lottery games qualify (including National Lottery draw-based games and National Lottery scratchcards). Proof of purchase of a National Lottery game can be either hard copy ticket or digital.
The date of draw / purchase is not relevant.
Comments Off on Multi Story Theatre – Hefted review
‘A Theatrical Treat!’ – Multi Story Theatre at Membury Village Hall
On Saturday 12th October the village hall in Membury was transformed into a dramatic performance space. Four talented actors from Multi Story Theatre Company, Bill Buffery, Laura James, Gill Nathanson and Ben Stretton, gave a truly spellbinding enactment of ‘Hefted’, a play written by David Lane and commissioned and produced by Beaford Arts. The performance encapsulated the emotional and physical lives of families in an area of North Devon across the last seven centuries. The cast skilfully interwove the stories with beautiful singing and the simplest of costume changes.
As the various scenes progressed we felt the depth of connection across the centuries of the characters to the land and the local landscape that surrounded them, whilst learning of significant historical events of the area.
The experience led the audience across the whole spectrum of emotions, entertaining with moments of humour and then portraying deeply moving and tragic events. All ages of life were depicted extremely effectively by the highly skilled cast.
It was a wonderful production brought to Membury by the Merrymakers, as part of ‘Villages in Action’, a rural touring scheme that brings top quality professional arts events to communities in Devon and that receives funding from Arts Council England.
There is a further opportunity to see this production at The Beehive in Honiton on Friday November 15th @7.30pm. Tel: 01404 384050. Tickets available online here.
‘Hefted’ – from ‘hefting’ – ‘whereby sheep come to know the lay of the lands upon which they were born almost by instinct’ : David Lane, playwright .
Comments Off on Plan your autumn with our new Villages in Action season launch!
Villages in Action are excited to present their autumn 2019 programme of world-class performance in villages across Devon
As the autumn season begins, we are delighted to present a new programme of theatre, music, dance, storytelling, and family shows from across the world in Devon’s wonderful and varied village halls, churches and community spaces.
All of our shows can be found on our events page, but here are a few season highlights…
There’s more great theatre to be experienced at Multi Story Theatre Company’s new production Hefted. Inspired by conversations and interviews with people across North Devon, this play explores the connection we have with our land, the pull of our past, and what it means for our future. Don’t miss it at Newton St Cyres Parish Hall on 5th October, Membury Village Hall on 12th October, and The Beehive, Honiton on 15th November.
Zulu Tradition are rekindling the spark of Zulu culture through song, dance and drums, and will be entertaining audiences at Buckland in the Moor Community Hall on 18th October. This company of young Zulu singers and dancers promise an exciting and enthralling evening!
We’re thrilled to be presenting a very special dance performance from Norwegian company Panta Rei Danseteater in Awliscombe. Silence explores the moments of quiet in our busy lives, and the dancers will be performing in our promoters’ own home. You are invited to join them for a unique show and supper on 19th October.
The Black Feathers’ perfectly paired voices and riveting stage chemistry are set to win over new fans in Talaton Parish Hall on 15th November, where they will be performing their genre-defying blend of folk, Americana and southern rock.
The Autumn Season continues with outstanding theatre, delightful dance and music from across the world, all brought into the heart of Devon’s rural communities. All of the Villages in Action events and booking information can be found on the VIA events page: www.villagesinaction.co.uk/events
Comments Off on Villages in Action nominated for the National Rural Touring Awards
Villages in Action is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted in the National Rural Touring Awards 2019. Together with Cornwall rural touring scheme Carn to Cove, we are shortlisted in the category of ‘Touring Scheme Collaboration of the Year’ for our work together securing the future of Villages in Action after we faced closure in late 2017. Thanks to the support of Carn to Cove, and funding from Arts Council England, East Devon District Council, Teignbridge District Council and Devon County Council, VIA is now going strong with an exciting future ahead of us!
Last year’s NRTF Rural Touring Awards in Worcester
Organised by the National Rural Touring Forum, the Rural Touring Awards celebrate the breadth, passion and professionalism in the rural touring sector. Held once a year at the NRTF annual conference, the Awards were designed as an opportunity to draw attention to the quality of performance and performing companies, as well as to collaborations and the network of individuals who go above and beyond for their local community.
Claire Marshall, Deputy Director of Carn to Cove said, “We are really excited to be part of the rural touring awards, 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”.
Winners will be announced at the Hi-VIS: NRTF Conference 2019, being held in Bangor, Wales 2 – 4 July 2019. Hosting the awards is Kate Fox, stand up poet, who will be joined by the nominees and many from the rural touring sector, including schemes, programmers, directors and performers.
The Awards are judged by three industry professionals: Jude Henderson, Director of Federation of Scottish Theatres; Ian McMillan, poet, journalist, playwright, and broadcaster; and Kate Green, Deputy Editor of Country Life Magazine.
Comments Off on Villages in Action Spring 2019 season launch
As a fresh new year begins, we are super excited to present the Villages in Action Spring 2019 programme. This season you’ll find theatre, circus, storytelling, laughter, puppetry, and music from across the world in Devon’s wonderful and varied village halls, churches and community spaces.
You can find our full event listings on our event pages, or read on for a few of our season highlights…
RSVP Bhangra Band
RSVP is a Bhangra band that blends traditional Punjabi celebratory folk music with Western musical influences to create a sound that is unusual when heard by mainstream listeners, but none of that matters, because their ability to perform to a crowd is perfect. Their stage personalities are lovable, the Asian drumbeats are infectious, and the Western slant gives the crowd something unique to enjoy.
With musicians drawn from one family, wholly rooted in an authentic living tradition, yet unafraid to innovate, this is the ultimate celebratory Indian music. RSVP will be bringing their Big Bhangra Beats and engaging, interactive vibe so be prepared to learn some Bhangra grooves and moves and get ready to party.
Saturday 26th January 2019 @ 7.30pm Oakford Village Hall
Tickets: £17.50 per person, including a tasty curry selection supper from 7pm. There will also be a pay bar. Bollywood Costumes encouraged!
The Devil’s Violin – Stolen
The Devil’s Violin return with an enchanting blend of words and music. Brimming with dreamlike images that will haunt you long after the performance ends, The Devil’s Violin will take you on an epic journey to the end of the world – and into the next one!
The essence of all cinema, theatre and literature is a gripping tale well told. By weaving traditional stories into an epic narrative The Devil’s Violin return us to that essence. This is a tale of lost loves, bravery, and above all else, hope.
Friday 1st February 2019 @ 7.30pm Mary Tavy Coronation Hall
Tickets: Adult £9
Friday 8th February @ 7.30pm Talaton Parish Hall
Scratchworks Theatre – Womans
46 BC, Ancient Rome. Our hero, Leta has been declared a traitor. Her punishment is worse than death, ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ – to be erased from history. Whilst noble Gladiators and infamous Emperors around her are becoming legends, her name will be forgotten forever.
Join Leta’s journey to reclaim her place in the history books, from crashing the Colosseum to bargaining with Brutus, she will go to the ends of the empire to make her mark. A feast for the eyes and the ears with physical comedy, clowning and original music, Womans is a raucous tale of the first female resistance.
Sunday 10th February 2019 @ 3pm South Zeal Victory Hall
Tickets on sale soon.
29th March @ 7.30pm Crediton Arts Centre
Tickets: Adult £9, Child £7, Benefits £7, Family £25
D Click – Isla
Isla is based on the dreams and hallucinations of three shipwrecked characters who find themselves alone and dependant on one another to survive and remake their stories.
D Click use circus, acrobatics and Chinese pole to explore the limits of the island, telling stories that remind us of the subtle barrier that exists between physical theatre and dance, circus and risk, and magic and dreams.
Saturday 6th April 2019 @ 7.30pm Scoriton Village Hall
Tickets: Adult £9, Child £7, Family £25
Mixing classic country music with modern satire, Ryan Cook has forged a sound between contemporary folk and dyed-in-the wool country. With nuances of pop and western swing, Ryan’s songbook reminiscences of the early hillbilly and folk pioneers but stays very much in the current landscape. On stage Ryan has toured as a solo performer opening for Country purists like Dwight Yoakam, Rosanne Cash, & Travis Tritt. His acoustic live show combines thumb-picking guitar styles, original folk & country ballads and vintage music from the 1940’s and 1950’s.
‘Owing a debt to country greats like Hank Williams Sr. and Johnny Cash, Ryan Cook would be a superstar if there was any justice in the world.’ – Ken Kelley, The Noreaster Online
Friday 5th April @ 7.30pm Buckland in the Moor Community Hall
Tickets: Adult £8, Child £6, Family £22
Saturday 6th April @ 7.30pm Clayhidon Parish Hall
Tickets on sale soon.
Little Soldier – Journey to the Impossible
Did you ever own a Walkman or play Donkey Kong? Little Soldier made this show for you. Journey to the Impossible is for people, like you, who recognise the sound of a modem, who were scared watching the Goonies and who couldn’t tell you the mobile numbers of their nearest and dearest but would still be able to call their best school-friend’s home number. Ah! And for your children, of course.
Incorporating live music, light-hearted audience interaction and physical comedy, Little Soldier use a recipe of Dip Dabs, walkie talkies and an unashamed dose of Steven Spielberg movies to create a retro-futuristic adventure for all the family.
Saturday 18th May 2019 @ 7.30pm Lustleigh Village Hall
Tickets: Adults £10, Child £5
Thomas Bowes – Bach Pilgrimage
Thomas Bowes is one of the UK’s most versatile and accomplished violinists, as a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster and artistic director. In 2013 Tom undertook an extensive ‘Bach Pilgrimage’, giving fifty concerts of the unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas of JS Bach in churches across mainland Britain and raising over £20,000 for various charities. His Bach Pilgrimage is now a growing feature of every season and events take him all over the world.
This concert of solo violin music is especially designed for Church spaces. Spoken introductions give context and background to why and how the music was written, reflecting the emotional and spiritual strength of this music.
Thursday 23rd May 2019@ 7.30pm St Michael’s Church, Shute
Tickets: Adult £10, Child £6, Benefits £7, Family £25
Saturday 25th May 2019 @ 7.30pm Awliscombe Parish Church
Tickets: Adult £9, Child £7, Family £25
Sunday 26th May @ 7.30pm Clayhidon Parish Church
Tickets on sale soon.
Sunday 2nd June @ 7.30pm Clearbrook Village Hall
Tickets: Adult £9, Child £7, Benefits £7, Family £25