Cheshire Rural Touring Arts Looks Forward With Confidence

Promoters from a number of Rural Touring venues met at Neston Town Hall on Saturday (Sept 2nd) to take stock of the scheme and to look to the future. Sue and Brian Hardacre represented Tarvin and are delighted to report that the future looks secure.

The first piece of good news confirmed was that CRTA, along with all other rural touring schemes in the country, received Arts Council funding, and for a four-year period rather than three years as before. This reflects the Arts council policy of supporting culture outside the capital and directing – some – funds away from large national/regional organisations.

Within Cheshire, rural touring remains healthy and robust. In 2016 there were 74 performances throughout the area which generated £34,675 in income. A Total of 4532 people attended giving an average attendance of 61. The figures show a rise across the board with comparable figures from 2015. £6884.00 was generated in online ticket sales with 868 tickets being purchased this way. Significant increases in the number of Twitter followers and Facebook likes were also noted.

CRTA continues to be involved with other arts organisations to develop new work, to increase the diversity of entertainment offered and to ensure the best possible financial rewards for both promoters and performers.

There are concerns however. The addition of VAT to ticket prices, a requirement from HMRC, is a potential problem. Tarvin, along with a number of other venues, already has a ticket price of £10 for adult shows and feels that this is the highest they can reasonably charge, so must absorb the VAT element. Promoters will be monitoring the bottom line with concern in the next couple of seasons. Sue says “While Tarvin does not seek to use theatre performances as a fund raiser as such,  we do like to cover costs and get some return from the hard work put in the promote the events. Consistent losses could force us to reconsider”

Attracting new audiences continues to be an issue. The average age of audiences tends to be 50/60+ and while their support is very much valued, all promoters are aware of the need to attract younger people. There was also a recognition that the cost of creating new work and maintaining touring schedules was rising fast and that there are fewer small theatre companies in the market and an increase in the number of one person shows to choose from. Reflecting that trend, the afternoon session showcased two story-telling performances; Sam Brady gave an exert from his show Kindness which outlined his personal journey from financial consultant to performer via a period as a Buddhist monk. Emily Hennessy gave a fascinating glimpse into Hindu mythology with a tale about the great goddess Kali. Both shows will appear on the menu next season.

The two shows on offer in Tarvin the autumn are:

Tales of Birbal – folk tales for children – Friday November 3rd at 6.00pm

Wuthering Heights – the Bronte classic – Saturday November 18th at 7.30pm

Tickets for both these events are now available online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/cheshireruraltouringarts  and will be available for sale at the Post Office later.

 

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“Be a Happier You” Workshop

The Community Centre will be the venue for a Workshop on Wednesday 6th September from 6.00pm until 7.30 pm. Entitled “Be a Happier You” it will be an introduction to a range of meditation and life affirming therapies that are intended to improve mental and physical well-being.

It will be conducted by local practitioner Sarah Stanyer from Clotton, whose involvement and training in these therapies has encouraged her to offer their advantages and benefits to a wider audience.

Sarah explains “I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2015. After battling osteoarthritis from the age of 12, resulting in half a knee replacement at the tender age of 44.I spent the majority of my life trying to survive depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, IBS and sleep issues. On one hand it was a huge relief to hear that I was not going mad but how was I going to cope? Fibromyalgia causes widespread chronic muscle pain and fatigue, it affects 1 in 20 and mainly women over the age of 30. So the chances are you know someone that has this. In 2016 I had over 140 days of chronic pain and fatigue, affecting my quality of life and that of my family.

My oldest daughter, Amy has severe learning disabilities, Autism, dyspraxia and apraxia, she needed me, so through gritted teeth I had to keep going for her.

I then stumbled across Access Consciousness Bars Therapy, a very relaxing gently therapy touching points on your head, that can change any area of your life, if you truly want change? It made me feel lighter, have less chatter in my head and less pain, giving me more energy, and a sense of calm.  It had such a significant impact in transforming my life, I have now set up a new business in a range of alternative therapies. Access has also creating calm for Amy, improving her wellbeing.”

This workshop will cost £20 if booked before August 31st or £30 thereafter. If there is sufficient demand locally Sarah will establish a number of sessions enabling participants to improve their well-being and create a sustainable sense of calm in both mind and body.

For further details and to book a place call Sarah on 07799 372682 or email Sarah on sarah.strengthkindness@hotmail.com You will also find more details on www.beahappieryou.co.uk

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Ladies Fashion Event

As they themselves say:

“Chameleon Style offers a selection of Ladies clothing, jewellery and accessories and use a variety of size and shape models to show how the clothes fit different shapes and ages.  We sell ladies tops, trousers and dresses in a variety of materials and styles at excellent prices.

    

We like to show during our catwalk how you might like to accessorise with jewellery and scarves and also take outfits from day to evening wear, informal to formal.

Our clothing pricing for clothing collections range between £8 and £40, our costume jewellry from £4 to £25 and our scarves from £8 to £15. This Autumn Winter we are also offering a new range of POM sterling silver jewellry.”

Tickets for the evening are £8 each including a glass of Prosecco and entrance will be by ticket only. They will be available from the Post Office soon but can be bought online now at www.ticketsource.co.uk/tarvincommunitycentre  Chameleon Style offer such evenings to raise money for good causes, and the Community Centre is delighted that this time they will be the beneficiaries. The contract for the building of the storage shed has just been signed so the receipts from the evening will be put to immediate, effective use.

The fashions presented will be the latest arrivals for autumn, and with a wide selection of accessories available to purchase as well, everyone will be able to leave with a complete outfit or two for the new season. All that…and a glass of Prosecco as well… the bargain of the season!

For more details go to www.chameleonstyle.co.uk

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Bronte Classic comes to the Community Centre

The Community Centre is delighted to announce that their autumn theatre production will now be “Wuthering Heights” which will be on stage on Saturday November 18th at 7.30 pm.

The play has been created by Hot Buckle Theatre Productions, a Shropshire based company that specialises in adaptations of classic stories. They are veterans of the rural touring network and will be coming to Tarvin after an October tour throughout Ireland.

Sue Hardacre said “This is a change from what we had originally planned. Our first choice from the Cheshire Rural Touring Arts menu was a Dickens ghost story but the company offering the play did not get their Arts Council funding. This left CRTA with the problem of getting substitutes to offer promoters, and we are very, very pleased with the alternative”

The play uses four actors to weave the complex tapestry of this inter-generational love story. The performance will be full length with an interval and is more than likely to be performed on the stage.  Sue says, “It is a pleasure to be offering a solid piece of theatre which will use all the imagination and talents of the writer, director and actors to draw us into Emily Bronte’s dramatic and highly-charged world of doomed love.”

Tickets for the performance will be £10 for adults and, because the play may well appeal to a younger audience as well, tickets at £7 will be offered for those under 16. The performance is rated as suitable for 11+.

Tickets will be available from the Post Office in due course but for those who like to get their autumn diary in good shape early, they are available to purchase on line at www.ticketsource.co.uk/cheshireruraltouringarts

 

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They seek him here, they seek her there . . . . . . . .

Where Are the Helpers?

Readers of The Telegraph may well have seen an article published on Jan 2nd headed “Village Halls Face Bleak Future as Ageing Volunteers Dwindle”. Stressing the vital role Village Halls play in rural communities, the article outlined the problems faced by ageing groups of volunteers often struggling to provide the physical and administrative back up necessary to maintain the many activities enjoyed by so many residents. Recognising the hectic lives lived by working people and the wealth of activities now available to the recently retired, the article stresses the need for more people to find time to come forward.

For the full article go to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/02/village-halls-face-bleak-future-ageing-volunteers-dwindle/

The article certainly resonated with the Community Centre Management Committee whose average age has not been computed recently but must be well over 65. Generally in good health and certainly brimming over with enthusiasm, this group will happily go on for a bit longer yet, but is very much aware that their “Strategic Chairman Replacement Strategy” lacks focus and is still searching for a solution.

So, along with, I suspect, other groups in the village, the Community Centre Committee is appealing to you to consider stepping forward and joining us. There is a committee meeting once a month and you can then volunteer for as much, or as little, as you can manage. A fair amount of this consists of opening and closing the Centre for users and ensuring that our customers get a good service and come back again. It could be twice a year or twice a week, the choice is yours. Or you may have a specific interest – film, theatre, keep fit, ballroom dancing, weight-lifting – that might encourage you to take a step forward and join.

All the surveys that have been conducted in Tarvin in the last few years have highlighted the pleasure residents get from the ‘sense of community’. The Community Centre helps create this so, to maintain what we all enjoy, a few more must be prepared to get involved.

For an insider’s guide to what is involved, contact any committee member. 01829 741962 or 01829 741468 will get you to a couple of enthusiasts who will be delighted to talk to you.

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