Winners of first Rural Touring Awards announced

Ben Duke in Paradise Lost (Lies Unopened Beside Me) which was nominated in the awards. Photo: Zoe Manders Paradise Lost (Lies Unopened Beside Me) won the award for most innovative and/or inspirational show. Photo: Zoe Manders
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The winners of the inaugural Rural Touring Awards have been announced at the University of Nottingham as part of the annual National Rural Touring Forum conference.

Quatt Village Hall in Shropshire was named most welcoming village hall, while Cornwall’s Carn to Cove won the award for most supportive touring scheme.

Lost Dog’s show Paradise Lost (Lies Unopened Beside Me) won most innovative and/or inspirational show, beating Worklight Theatre’s Labels and The Deluge from Lila Dance.

Des George was named best promoter for his work at Neuadd Dyfi in Gwynedd, Wales and the rural touring newcomer award went to Hannah Prior.

Prior is the co-director of I-gnition in Shropshire and won for her voluntary work with her local rural touring scheme.

The NRTF special award went to Ian Scott, who recently retired as director of Artsreach in Dorset, for his 25 years of service in the rural touring sector.

Writer Stella Duffy hosted the awards ceremony, and the awards were presented by judges including Lyn Gardner and China Plate’s Ed Collier.

Collier said: “Rural touring performance in the UK is absolutely thriving. The shortlist of artists, promoters, venues and schemes revealed some amazing work happening up and down the country.

“It was an extremely difficult set of decisions to come to and we hope that the recognition these awards offer to the people who make it all happen will help to continue strengthening the sector.”