REVIEW OF THE NORTH SOUTH TOURING SCHEME
Monday 15th April 2002 at 1pm 0 Comments
- There are very obvious benefits arising from the Scheme to both companies and venues in the north and south and for this reason it is recommended that the Scheme should continue to operate with support from both Arts Councils. The quantity of cross border touring will decrease if the Scheme ceases to exist.
The amount of funding invested in the Scheme should be reviewed annually in the light of demand, outputs, and other strategic developments with regard to touring.
- The work of Theatre Shop and Theatre Exchange is vital in terms of improving communication between venues and companies. Northern companies and venues have not been well represented at Theatre Shop. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland should emphasise to its clients the importance and value of them attending such events if issues about lack of product and touring are to be addressed. The Theatre Exchange in the north should be opened out again to the participation of southern companies and venues. This could be made a condition of grant assistance from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion should encourage and assist southern companies to attend where appropriate. The issues are the same for the touring theatre sector on both sides of the border and should be addressed collectively.
- The Arts Councils should review the forms used for the Scheme to ensure that they are capturing as much relevant data as possible. A post-event form specific to the scheme must be developed. Outstanding monitoring information should be followed up.
- A wide range of issues have been identified both north and south of the border with regard to audience development and touring through the work of Auditoria, Theatre Shop, Theatre Exchange, and in the context of this review. Both Arts Councils need to continue to work with the sector to ensure that key issues are addressed such as shortages and gaps in provision with regard to touring product. ‘Views of theatre in Ireland’ 1995 suggested in its touring section that the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion "identify three or four production companies that have shown a commitment and an ability to tour and build in a touring element in their annual grants". Such an approach by both Arts Councils, linked to specific outcomes, is felt to be the most practical way of ensuring an adequate quota of touring.