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Rural Touring Awards winners announced

Northumberland's November Club and Highlights Rural Touring Scheme have won collaboration of the year for Beyond the End of the Road at the Rural Touring Awards. Photo: Trevor Walker Northumberland's November Club and Highlights Rural Touring Scheme have won collaboration of the year for Beyond the End of the Road at the Rural Touring Awards. Photo: Trevor Walker
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Site-specific musical Beyond the End of the Road and theatre company Ragged Edge are among the winners of the second annual Rural Touring Awards.

The awards, announced at the National Rural Touring Forum’s New Directions conference in Worcester, celebrate small-scale touring theatre around the UK. NRTF is a member-led organisation that works to deliver the arts to rural areas.

Northumberland-based performing arts company November Club and Highlights Rural Touring Scheme won touring scheme collaboration of the year for Beyond the End of the Road, a site-specific musical presented at eight village halls and Hexham Cattle Mart.

Ragged Edge won stage performance of the year for its debut production The Chef Show by playwright and broadcaster Nick Ahad.

The Chef Show review at Dukes, Lancaster – ‘cooking and comedy’

The awards were judged by a panel comprising The Stage’s reviews editor and joint lead critic Natasha Tripney, Deborah Clarke, who is a representative from umbrella charity Action with Communities in Rural England, and rural touring promoter Des George.

Other awards to be announced included voluntary promoter of the year, which went to Mike Greener from Berwick-Upon-Tweed, and young person of the year, which was won by the Forest Young Promoters, a group of 12 to 18-year-olds who each year programme up to three shows for rural touring in Gloucestershire.

There was also a prize for music performance of the year, which went to Apphia Campbell for her touring show Black Is the Colour of my Voice, which also ran at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The NRTF Special award, which recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to rural touring, was awarded to Barbara Slack from Highlights Rural Touring Scheme.

The awards were hosted by poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan, who said: “I’m proud to be part of these awards that celebrate the makers of the dynamic arts renaissance that’s sweeping the country, realigning our idea of what true centres of excellence can be and can become.”

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