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Graeae and Deafinitely benefit from share of £2m touring fund

Graeae's Reasons To Be Cheerful will tour seven regions of the UK. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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Theatre companies Graeae and Deafinitely have been awarded a share of more than £2 million as part of the latest round of funding from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring programme.

All the successful projects will work with people from diverse backgrounds including black and minority ethnic artists and audiences, refugees and disabled people.

Disabled-led company Graeae has been awarded £220,000 to tour Reasons to Be Cheerful, a musical featuring the songs of Ian Dury. The show premiered in 2010 but the money will allow the company to tour it to seven regions, “where there is a need for diverse, high quality shows in mid-scale venues”, ACE said.

Deaf-led company Deafinitely has been given £81,008 towards a programme of audience development, participation and training activities. The money will also enable the company to take a bilingual family show out to a wider audience, that will include families who use both British Sign Language and spoken English.

“This means deaf children with hearing brothers and sisters or deaf grandparents with hearing grandchildren can all go to the theatre and enjoy this experience as a family together. By receiving this funding, the Arts Council are enabling us to reach deaf people all over the country who rarely have the opportunity to see a bilingual family show,” artistic director Paula Garfield said.

Meanwhile, Metta Theatre has been awarded £300,000 to produce a three-year audience-development programme during which it will tour to places including Doncaster, Birmingham and Derby. Its productions include a circus-musical version of The Little Mermaid and a hip-hop musical of The Wind in the Willows.

Other recipients include Fleetwood Festival of Transport, which has been given £97,972 to produce an outdoor arts event in the north.

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