Touring Consortium Theatre Company
4th Floor, 80-81 St Martin’s Lane,
Telephone: 08445 880 848
Contact: Jenny King
Tourinf Consortium grew out of the belief in the mid-1990s that the amount and quality of large-scale touring drama was on the wane. The national companies were very selective in both their tours and the venues to which they toured. It was apparent that a production company with a board of directors who had a direct interest in the quality and type of shows produced might help to fulfil the need. It was specifically believed that curriculum-related drama with an integrated creative learning programme was of paramount importance and that is what the Touring Consortium Theatre Company provides.
After the success of Damian Cruden’s production of The Railway Children at Waterloo, presented by The Touring Consortium, the company restructured as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, re-branded and became The Touring Consortium Theatre Company.
The Touring Consortium is now led by producers Jenny King and Matthew Gale in a collaborative partnership with our eight regional touring theatres. Our partner theatres are large-scale theatres of over 1,000 seats that receive productions created elsewhere from producing theatres in London and the regions or from commercial producers.
Many of our large scale theatres rely on diminishing council grants and on their box office. In order to survive, these theatres need to programme popular entertainment like stand up, musicals, variety, ice shows, pantomime of course. But they still want drama and there is not very much on offer for their theatres.
In 2012, together with York Theatre Royal, Pilot Theatre Company and the Royal & Derngate Northampton, we applied to the ACE Strategic Touring Fund for funding to support a programme of five productions to be presented on tour over two and half years with the aim of reaching out to new audiences.
Our brief was enlarged to include not just young people but a more diverse audience who feel, perhaps, that theatre is ‘not for them’ – presenting plays that have no relevance ‘for them’ .
We have programmed five productions with the aim of addressing those concerns.
We have developed a creative outreach programme that includes an ongoing relationship with three partnership schools in every town we visit.
We have appointed local ambassadors:
- to help us encourage a more diverse and multi cultural audience for our theatres
- to promote our access facilities for impaired audiences
- to encourage families to make a visit to our theatres together
Through creative projects and our interactive digital hub, Theatre Cloud, we are working with schools, groups, organisations and individuals to help cultivate future independent theatregoers from schooldays to working lives and to involve and engage with people who currently feel that “Theatre is not for us”.
To inspire our audiences with life-affirming, excellent theatre. To make our work accessible and diverse.
To ensure that the direction and development of the Touring Consortium Theatre Company is informed by a balance of artistic growth and quality involvement from venues and audiences alike.
Artistic rationale for touring work
The Touring Consortium Theatre Company believes it is the pursuit of excellence in all the disciplines that contributes to theatre as a dynamic, social and relevant art form.
- Innovation: through exploration and a greater degree of artistic risk taking
- Participation: through accessible and inclusive creative experiences
- Collaboration: creating mutual ownership of achievements
- Quality: setting a high standard for the aspirations and the governance of the Company’s work