Live and Local - Surprising Shows In Surprising Places

Get Involved as a Performer


Live & Local is happy to receive unsolicited information, but we recommend that you do your research first. So before contacting us or sending information, we request that you have read the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) publication Eyes Wide Open (especially if you have not been involved in community/rural touring before). You may also like to consider Associate Membership of the NRTF for additional resources, training and networking opportunities. Please read our own information for artists in 'About Live & Local' below and if you are based in the West or East Midlands you may be eligable to take advantage of our DART programme.

  • Eyes Wide Open: NRTF Guide to Rural Touring.
  • About Live & Local: Information for artists and companies who are considering putting themselves forward for work on the Live & Local community performance scheme.
  • Publicity/Print: Guidelines for what print we prefer from Companies.
  • DART: Information about our artist/arts development programme.

Expression of Interest

If you wish to be considered for inclusion in our next 'Menu' of available shows please submit an online Company & Artist Expression of Interest Form. This is all we need in the first instance and we cannot actively consider a show without a this form being submitted. Please read all the notes on our Form Guidance page before submitting this form.

Please note: Because of the amount of unsolicited information we receive about shows, we will only follow up information about shows we are actively considering for our Menu.

When does Live & Local make decisions?

Live & Local publishes one Menu per year in late February containing performances for the following October to the following May.

Live & Local is happy to receive information from companies and artists via our online form at any time, however please note that we start to shortlist for the Menu in December each year and complete the process by mid February.

  1. December: Shows begin to be shortlisted for the Live & Local Menu;
  2. Dec to Mid Feb: We clarify/discuss your Company Information Form details* and agree what dates will be offered in the Menu. These are ringfenced by the companies until at least stage (6);
  3. End Feb: Menu is finalised, companies receive a Menu confirmation email which is the final confirmation that they are in the Menu;
  4. Mid March: Draft Menu “launched” to promoters;
  5. End March: Final menu is published and the Promoter Show Request portal opens (this is for performances for the following October to May period);
  6. Mid May: Deadline for requests from promoters and initial date/venue confirmations possible for companies;
  7. Late June/early July: Programming completed, and dates confirmed for pre xmas shows and most post xmas show. Some post xmas shows may take longer.

*Please note: Because of the amount of unsolicited information we receive about shows, we will only follow up information about shows we are activley considering for our Menu.

Funding, Investment and Co-Productions

Please note this section is about funding, investment and partnerships for getting a show to the stage that it is available to tour, NOT about having enough bookings to make a tour viable

It is damaging to our relationship with the voluntary promoter network if we confirm a show/date/tour only to have it cancelled. Our objective therefore is to balance the the need to provide assurance to the promoters at the point we confirm dates/show with the challenge companies have in raising funds within the same timescale.

Our default position is that we will not offer a show in the Menu that is relying on any funding, investment or co production arrangements for making and/or touring a show unless those finances or arrangements can be confirmed before our promoter’s request deadline in mid-May as being in place for the tour period.

We will reconsider this position for a some shows or companies if they have come through our DART programme and/or meet our priority shows or Creative Case objectives. Also as our Menu offers shows for the following October to May period we will reconsider this position for shows only available in the following Feb to May period so long as funding and investment can be confirmed by mid-august.

The following applies to shows/tours that are in particular relying on an Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant:

  • For less than or equal to £15,000 the turnaround time is six weeks. So, a company could put in an application after they have been successful in making it into the Live & Local menu on or before 1st April and have a decision before our requests’ deadline in Mid-May.
  • For over £15,000 it is 12 weeks, therefore a company would have to apply on or before 18th February. We would generally be able to tell companies whether they are in the menu or not by this point.

Please note that to offer any show in our menu that is relying on ACE funding we would need to see similar creative, technical and other information (and assurances about other tour bookings) as you would have to provide for an ACE application. Therefore, we would generally want to see relevant parts of the application.

How do Companies get bookings?

Live & Local recommends companies and artists through an annual Menu published in March each year. This contains performances of all shapes and sizes, art forms and for all types of audiences. Our local promoters choose shows from this menu for the following year.

You have to be in our Menu to get bookings however this does not always guarantee performances as thereafter you have to be chosen by the local Promoters. We will either (1) reserve specific dates with you, which would be confirmed or otherwise in late May. Or (2) we would offer you as generally available and get in touch to book dates in mid/late May. Or (3) very occasionally we will commit and contract specific dates at the time of publishing the Menu.


Anything to declare?

How do we select the performers for inclusion in the Live & Local Menu?

Live & Local selects performances through recommendation and research, using information gathered from other touring schemes, our promoters, mainstream venues, showcases, other companies and by investigating unsolicited information sent to us.

If you are touring in the Midlands, please let us know. Where possible, we or our reviewers try to see shows we are considering for the Menu.

You should have the capacity to engage positively with Live & Local Promoters and their target audiences, and be able to resolve the technical, marketing and administrative challenges inherent in non-mainstream venues, and have high production values that are not compromised by performing in Live & Local venues.

Not having done this type of work before does not discount you, nor if you are a regular touring scheme performer looking to try something new. We want to hear from companies and artists new to this type of work and about new, different or challenging shows for our audiences, although its always best to talk to us early in the creative process and do your reseach (see above).

One of the main reasons we don’t select companies or particular shows is to avoid duplication in the Menu, and we always welcome applications for the following year.

What about the venues?

Typical village hall

The majority of our venues are voluntary-run organisations serving a distinct local and small rural (some urban) catchment area. They organise a maximum of three Live & Local events per year and have few resources apart from time, enthusiasm and an unequipped, non-theatre venue with 150 seats or less.

Their stages are rarely suitable for drama therefore we are often dealing with flat floor spaces and need to know how you would overcome the inherent sightline problems.