The Beehive is delighted to be one of the South West Routes In Venues; a network of arts hubs joining forces to support artists and promote touring theatre in the region. The network has been created by Salisbury Playhouse and The Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter.
Venues South West has created a document which provides programming information for venues in the South West and detailed resources containing information to support artists. This can be used as a resource for artists within the region and for artists wanting to tour their work to the South West. The document is designed to enable communication between venues and artists to be more transparent and allow artists to make more targeted approaches to venues.
The full document can be viewed here.
The aim of the network is to enable venues to keep an open dialogue with artists to serve the needs of the theatre-making community. To pool knowledge and share resources, to give space, time and advice, and to present, co-present and co-produce work, opening up new circuits for rural, small-scale and mid-scale work.
Venues South West is keen to raise the profile of the region by creating a quality brand of South West work which has national recognition. The network will support the creation of high-quality new work from regional companies and will be championing this work through advocacy opportunities.
Venues South West plans to open up communication between venues and with artists by developing peer networks, creating a space where artists and venues can meet and talk, and making venue contact details more accessible.
Venues South West will meet three times a year and each meeting will be focused on meeting artists and advocating best practice within the network by interrogating existing touring models.
The network comprises more than 60 venues and organisations in the South West who programme live performances (not solely music), and who have a commitment to the aims and values of the network and supporting or programming artists from the South West. If you would like to join the network please email firstname.lastname@example.org or Emily@bikeshedtheatre.co.uk
Jo Newman, Associate Director Salisbury Playhouse, said: “It’s so important that venues work together to support artists. We’ve put this together in collaboration with a number of South West venues and artists and have taken inspiration from the Venues North model. We are excited to replicate this model within the South West to make relationships between artists and venues more transparent, develop touring in the region and support and champion high-quality work being made in the South West.”
The Beehive took part in the first event, a “speed meet” session between venues and artists, which was held on 1 February at the Loco Klub in Bristol, hosted by Bristol Ferment.