Full tour details announced for Take Your Seats programme
The full tour dates for the three shows that have been programmed for Take Your Seats have been announced: kicking off the tour is The Rest of Our Lives (21 Sept – 28 Oct), followed by Fatherhood (27 Sept – 13 Oct), and finishing with A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings (2 – 25 November). The three shows will tour Southeast stages as part of the new initiative which sees the venues working together collaboratively to promote new writing and re-energising local theatre attendance. Take Your Seats will provide additional budget and resources to promote the shows, and will also help venues re-engage with and find new audiences as part of a broad reaching campaign to connect people with their local theatres. Potential audiences will have seen adverts for the scheme appearing on trains across the region and in a large-scale digital marketing package, which has only been made possible by all the venues are working together.
The campaign hopes to reignite enthusiasm for new writing and contemporary theatre, which has seen attendance fall since the pandemic and due to cost of living crisis.
The Rest of Our Lives is presented by Jo Fong and George Orange and is a joyful dose of dance, theatre, circus and games. Two middle-aged performers – Jo’s an old dancer, and George is an old clown – are in an eclectic, spontaneous, predictable and random decline. Armed with a soundtrack of floor-fillers, a book of raffle tickets, a sprinkling of eco-friendly optimism, and a 100 years of life experience between them, they celebrate life, the struggle, and the beginning of the end. House are supporting integrated British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation which will be available at selected venues.
Fatherhood by Altered Skin is a humorous and highly-relatable look at the complications of being a father in the 21st century, and being the father of a young son of mixed South Indian, Turkish and Austrian heritage. Bringing together physical theatre rooted in the Indian performing artform Bharatanatyam and multilingual spoken text and sign languages, it explores the cultural and gender expectations on fathers and what it means to be responsible for a child navigating an increasingly complex world.
A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Dan Colley and Riverbank Arts Centre (Ireland) is inspired by Gabriel García Márquez's darkly comic children’s tale, using a combination of music, puppetry and live video projection to bring to life this magic-realist gem. In a kitchen, in a theatre, two storytellers and their audience ﬁnd something remarkable — a very old man with enormous wings. After consulting with the neighbour – who’s an expert on all things magic – the couple decide to shelter him in the chicken coop and feed him with food scraps. A wise woman says he’s an angel. The priest says he’s an imposter. Pilgrims ﬂock to see him. A show perfect for older children told with beautiful, strange and emotional richness.
The Take Your Seats initiative caters for the top three needs of venues asked what would best support their marketing efforts for new theatre: more budget, more time, and an external marketing campaign. To support the three show, house are providing:
a subsidised two-for-one ticket scheme
a broad regional marketing campaign aimed at encouraging audiences to try their local theatre
a robust pack of resources to promote the initiative and the shows
Audience Development Manager at house Jonathon Summers-Mileman said, ““The Take Your Seats ticket scheme comes at a vital time for southeast venues wanting to programme the best contemporary theatre for their audiences. house hopes to provide extra capacity and support to local venues in our network through this campaign’s activity. The scheme will be a significant incentive for audiences affected by the cost of living or who haven’t engaged with their local venue since the pandemic.
Venues throughout the southeast showcase some of the most exciting artists in their spaces and the house network was created to support and celebrate these venues to work closely with their local communities. We hope this scheme will remind audiences of what a great community asset they have on their doorsteps. Take Your Seats is an invitation to share the experience of live theatre together and the joys culture brings to a community. Our Autumn programme calls for people to share a wider range of theatre with friends and family right on their doorstep.”
house is a venue network and touring initiative based in the South East of England. It is delivered by Farnham Maltings, with support from Arts Council England, to improve the range, quality and scale of theatre presented across the region, and exists to develop audiences for contemporary theatre.
A full list of tour dates can be found here https://housetheatre.org.uk/take-your-seats