Sunday I got back from an amazing holiday in Kos, a beautiful little Greek island, only to jump on another plane to Newquay then travel down to “the edge” for a week long conference in Falmouth on Monday.
So this week I am down south for the annual NRTF conference. This years “New Directions 2016 Showcase” features a new batch of brilliant new talent from all over the world, from one men drama shows to contemporary dance acts. The conference gives us promotors and venue folders a chance to look at the new acts for 2017 bookings!
Coming here I had no idea what to expect. Having never been to a week long arts conference before I was unsure how busy or how the structure world work. Well I can say I have a very fun jam packed schedule ahead.
I arrived yesterday ready for the welcome speeches and introductions, excited to find out about the acts and who id be meeting. I took my little note book and adventured off to the lecture theathre which was strange actually as it felt strongly like I was back at university, I’ve missed it! One speaker was John Laidlaw, the chair of NRTF and someone who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting before through Live & Local work, so was lovely to see a friendly face down south. Another speaker which was great and interesting to hear from was Michelle Dickson the Director of Touring Arts Council England. Its was a funny interesting introduction looking at how our small art spaces can breathe new talent into or small communities.
We kicked off the first session with three acts. The first, and possibly my favourite of the day, was ‘Joan’ presented by Milk. The one women show was a captivating performance from start to finish. This Drag King act took you on a emotional historical roller coaster, going from laughing to thought provoking sadness within seconds.
The snippets of other shows we had the chance to watch was Labels by Workinglight Theatre, 600 people by Third Angel and ended with a brilliant performance by 3 Draft Monkeys. All the acts were interesting and different to what I normally get to see. At Spring Bank Arts we tend to have Folk, Jazz and classical music performances, so seeing these dramatic new pieces has made me see a whole other side to rural touring events and performances.
Through out the week we will get the chance to see and meet a wide range of artists, singers and performers. I will blog in more detail about my favourites some time after the conference as currently I am running around from workshops to shows to presentations from 9am until 10pm and crashing into bed singing along to show songs!
I am busy taking photographs of everything to show the Programme Planning group while also tucking into the unlimited free cake that seems to be everywhere! So far I have had 4 pieces and its only the morning of the second day! I will add that these photographs are not the best my phone decided to not cope well with the stage lighting.
Off to find a brew ….. & maybe more cake