THE TALKING HORSE
A NEW OUTDOOR THEATRE EXPERIENCE!
Theatre from a travelling horse-box…
Townsend Theatre Productions’ unveil their plans to make safe touring-theatre possible.
The horse-box transforms into the Talking Horse venue: a fully functioning, self-contained outdoor theatre space that will bring top quality professional performances to your doorstep!
the Talking Horse venue can pitch up and set up at any accessible outdoor space: gardens, car parks, playing fields, village greens, care homes and open up with additional portable staging, battery or silent generator-powered lighting & sound, with a covered ‘auditorium’ made up of large 5.5 M high red & yellow hexagonal big top tent with comfortable canvas chairs in a socially distanced set-up to safely seat an audience of thirty.
The horse-box itself will accommodate a box office/reception and a counter for refreshments, if necessary - coffee, soft drinks, cake, snacks, confectionary, etc.
the Talking Horse venue will be home to Townsend Theatre Productions’ specially created shows for outdoor performance, preserving the company’s engaging and interactive theatre style, making them accessible for all audiences, particularly for D/deaf and disabled audiences through signed performances and the addition of a portable hearing loop system.
the Talking Horse venue is also available for organisations to use where they see the potential benefit of reaching new audiences through staging professional and community performances at outdoor venues in their area. This could be achieved either in association with Townsend Theatre Productions or simple straightforward hire.
The safety of our audiences, performers and practitioners is of paramount importance for Townsend Theatre Productions. For this reason, the company has been at the forefront of establishing Covid-safe performance protocols to develop guidance for safe practice for small-scale touring and has been involved in the first professional performance in a village hall since the beginning of the pandemic; a ‘pilot’ with Live & Local rural touring scheme, which was informed by the then-current government legislation relating to performing arts and community venues. The aim has been to test the viability of safe rural touring, to mitigate risk and to advise, provide assurance and instil confidence for audiences, promoters, volunteers, companies and the arts sector to participate in artistic activity.
the Talking Horse venue is guided, developed and operated using safe practice, adhering to current government guidance and legislation. Each performance is risk assessed and will maintain social distancing, sanitisation, enhanced cleaning, test and trace, clear signage, face coverings, ventilation, and so forth. Detailed information including full risk assessments and control measures are available on Townsend Theatre Productions’ website www.townsendproductions.org.uk, or on request by contacting the company’s own Health and Safety Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07949635910.
WHAT'S ON & LOCATION
- Farewell Leicester Square Jul 1 - 7.30pm - The Place Theatre (car park) Bradgate Road, Bedford, MK40 3DE TICKETS: Pay What You Can (£6-£20)
- Farewell Leicester Square Jul 2 - 7.30pm - The Place Theatre (car park) Bradgate Road, Bedford, MK40 3DE TICKETS: Pay What You Can (£6-£20)
- Farewell Leicester Square Jul 2 - 3.00pm - The Place Bedford (car park) Bradgate Road, Bedford, MK40 3DE TICKETS: Pay What You Can (£6-£20)
- Farewell Leicester Square Jul 3 - 7.00PM - Meriden Park, Garsmouth Way Watford, WD25 9ET TICKETS: £5-£8
- Farewell Leicester Square Jul 4 - 7.00pm - Meriden Park, Garsmouth Way Watford, WD25 9ET TICKETS: £5-£8
- Farewell Leicester Square Jul 10 - 7.00pm - Callowland Recreational Ground Gammons Lane, Watford, WD24 5HY TICKETS: £5-£8
- Farewell Leicester Square Jul 11 - 7.00pm - Callowland Recreational Ground Gammons Lane, Watford, WD24 5HY TICKETS: £5-£8
- Dumfries and Galloway Festival Jul 17 - Annan Harbour, Port Street TICKETS
- Dumfries and Galloway Festival Jul 18 - Stranraer, Agnew Park. Waterside TICKETS
- Dumfries and Galloway Festival Jul 24 - Dumfries, Dock Park TICKETS
- Dumfries and Galloway Festival Jul 25 - Castle Douglas, Market Hill TICKETS
Part of Castle Douglas food festival
Hosting children's workshops Aug 15 - 1.30pm - Castle Douglas, Market Hill
- Aug 28 - 1.00pm - Wigtown Shindig (Town Square)
- 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' Sep 3 - 7.00pm - Crossmichael Church
- The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' Sep 4 - 7.30pm - Car Park at The Catstand
The finishing touches . . .19 May 2021
We have been very busy this week putting together the final pieces of the Talking Horse Venue. After a few bumps in the road it is now complete, and we are very excited to be presenting our first live show in it in July. Yesterday marked the first time the venue was fully put together, and it couldn’t have gone better. Thankfully the Scottish weather held out for us as we spent all day outside painting and building and filming!
It was quite the job converting a horse box into a fully functioning live performance venue. This has been a work in progress over the 6 months+, involving a number of collaborators working together to realise the idea. Yesterday saw us adding the final coats of paint, reattaching the wheels and completing the hatch which we will use as a box office / reception and to sell teas and coffees through.
Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have recognised the importance of being able to adapt and continue to make the arts accessible and safe. Now that The Talking Horse venue is complete it will allow us, and any organisation who wishes to hire the venue from us, to pitch up and put on a Covid safe performance anywhere! The performance and auditorium space is made up of a colourful tent, meaning our performers and audience members will be protected from the elements whilst still being outside in the fresh air.
Today we are filming the musical performances planned for the Dumfries & Galloway Festival in July. This is so that in the event of another lockdown, we can stream the performances online so you don’t miss out! Of course, we are really hoping to be able to present all of our shows live to an audience, but we are also always ready to adapt to changing situations.
Tomorrow we will take the venue down and put it into storage until we rebuild it in June, ready for rehearsals to begin for our new show Farewell Leicester Square - we can’t wait!
My little top tent has arrived & has been unpacked6 Mar 2021
My little top tent has arrived and has been unpacked. Now to figure out how to put it all together in a very short space of time . . . Should be fun - looking forward to meeting everyone on the road in the summer!
The Talking Horse Plans22 Dec 2020
We are extremely excited that our plans for a new outdoor touring venue is going ahead. The build of the Front of House (The Horse Box) is starting on 18th January and the small top tent is now in production. We want to thank our funders The Cloth Workers & Skinners Foundation and LUSH Charity Pot for their financial support for helping get this project underway and we hope it will be a useful resource for all of the theatre community in these difficult times. The Horse Box will be able to tour to residential homes, village greens, festivals, venues, village halls etc. To find out more please e-mail us.
Talking Horse - the beginnings of reconstruction
Work has started on our new touring outdoor venue. Hatches welded and treated, steels have been red oxide rust treated and getting primed for top coat. Can't wait to see the colour on the outside go on!