Spot On, Lancashire’s rural touring network, have announced their autumn season, taking professional theatre, dance, music and family shows to the county’s village halls and libraries.
This season’s offering features work from both home and abroad with artists travelling from Canada, France, Norway and Ireland to perform in Lancashire venues.
The opening show of the season is a moving piece of family theatre, “The Mysterious Vanishment of Pobby and Dingan”, from Travelling Light Theatre. The play, which is based on the acclaimed novel by Ben Rice, will visit Clitheroe Library on Wednesday 21 September, followed by a performance at Haslingden Library the following evening.
Dance takes centre stage in the programme, with no less than three stunning new shows, all double-bills, in three different venues, from Balbir Singh Dance Company.
The Lowther Pavilion in Lytham will host “Taming The Kung-Fu Dragon”, a dance performance deeply inspired by the Japanese martial arts tradition as part of a double bill that will also feature traditional Indian dance.
The Rainhall Centre in Barnoldswick will be the venue for “Venetian Ballroom”, set in the heydays of Venice, featuring sumptuous gowns, masks and live music. The double-bill also includes a concert from world-renowned saxophonist Jesse Banister, merging classical Indian and Western music styles.
The final instalment in the Balbir Singh programme is “Painting the Indian Gods” at The Bureau in Blackburn. This visual and aural depiction of Indian Gods and their stories, is invoked by a storyteller, musicians and an artist painting live on stage. Another double bill, the show also features live classical Indian music in the second half.
All of the Balbir Singh shows have been brought to the county by Spot On, in partnership with the Dance Across The North strategic touring project.
There’s further dance in October too from Panta Rei Dance Theatre, who travel all the way from Norway to perform “I Wish Her Well” at Slaidburn Village Hall, deep in the heart of the Forest of Bowland.
Away from dance, there is children’s puppet theatre with “Dinosaur Detectives”, which visits Tockholes and Calder Vale village halls in late October and comedy theatre from Fol Espoir who bring their entertaining and hugely popular “Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain” to Arkholme, Simonstone and Lytham in November.
For those who fancy something a little different, The Fetch Theatre present “Clapper Box”, an interactive puppet booth, where the audience can be both puppeteer or spectator, sitting either side of a mini stage, with headphones, receiving either directions or hearing the story. The event will take place at The Harris Library in Preston between 10am-4pm on Thursday 3 November with additional dates in libraries to be released soon.
Elsewhere, three venues host a bold multi-media storytelling experience using projection, sculpture and animation. Storyteller Jacqueline Harris’ tales are brought to life through her collaboration with sculptor, Marjan Wouda and theatre projectionist, Adam York Gregory, for “In Skriker’s Footsteps”.
For music enthusiasts, spanish guitarist, Howard Haigh, takes his mesmerising skills to The Dog Inn in Belthorn in September, and French folk band Oh La La! Perform “A Night Of Parisian Fantasy” in three venues, the following week.
Canadian folk trio Red Moon Road perform in Borwick, Burscough and Preston in October and crossover classical ensemble, Fordante, take their spectacular performances of some of the greatest film soundtracks to Halton.
In December, the harp/guitar duo of Ireland’s Chris Newman and Máire Ní Chathasaigh bring the season to a festive close with their “Celtic Christmas Songs” in Croston and Grindleton before the final show of the season at Tatham Fells on Sunday 11 December.
Film fans will enjoy the critically-acclaimed “Addicted To Sheep”, screened in Arkholme, Tosside and Calder Vale and there will also be a number of live screenings in Parbold Village hall from Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, The National Theatre and Branagh Theatre, during the season.
All the shows have been brought to the county by Spot On Lancashire, supported with funding from Arts Council England and Lancashire County Council.
Speaking ahead of the season’s launch, Spot On’s Sue Robinson said:
“We’re taking another incredible season of live arts events to the doorsteps of those in rural towns and villages as well as bringing something new to library spaces. This season we embrace artists from Canada, France and Ireland, Norwegian dance, stories from Lancashire, South Asian dance via Leeds and sheep from the Pennine Hills. We can’t wait to get going!”
For more information about any of the shows call Sue Robinson on 01254 660360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Spot On what’s on page to see the full programme or download the brochure here.