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CTN: COLLABORATIVE TOURING NETWORK
The Collaborative Touring Network (CTN) was formed in 2013, with the aim of developing a different way of touring. A collective of 8 organisations based in Wigan, Gloucester, Hull, Torbay, Thanet, Peterborough, Medway and Wandsworth, CTN believes in the power and possibility of live performance. Our towns and places have often been overlooked and under-resourced, but we believe every town deserves life-affirming, soul-shaking, perspective-changing shows, and we work with artists and communities to make this possible in our places. We think touring live performance is most impactful when it is invited into places where community is already happening. We create local partnerships and put on shows in these unlikely spaces: from car parks, to nightclubs, rooftops to community centres. We commit to working in ways that can contribute to a fairer, more inclusive society. A society in which access to cultural experiences and opportunities for creative expression are not limited by circumstance or context. The Collaborative Touring Network is Battersea Arts Centre (Wandsworth). Doorstep Arts (Torbay). Heads Up (Hull). Jumped Up Theatre (Peterborough). Looping the Loop (Thanet). Lyrici Arts (Medway). The Old Courts (Wigan). Strike a Light (Gloucester). HOW WE WORK One: We work with communities and artists to create new ways of being together. Two: We believe in the power and possibility of live performance. Three: We challenge dysfunctional working models. We experiment with different ways of making, sharing and touring live performance that can contribute to a fairer, more inclusive society; where access to cultural experiences and opportunities for creative expression are not limited by circumstance, class or identity. Four: We question, we listen, we try new things, we learn from our mistakes and we try again. Five: We believe every town deserves to experience life-affirming, soul-shaking, perspective-changing live performance. We are committed to creating the conditions for this work to exist and grow in our locations. Six: We work as a network. We give what we can and take the support we need, acknowledging the different scales, capacities, and resources accessible to each of us. Seven: We value people, their experiences, and their stories. We listen to and create platforms for stories that often go unheard. Eight: We think touring live work is most impactful when it is invited into places where community is already happening. We do not expect people to come to us. We are interested in meeting them where they are. Nine: We are in this for the long-run.
NEW ARTWORK UNVEILED TO CELEBRATE THE HISTORY & FUTURE OF KING STREET
Yesterday, an eye-catching wrap-around was unveiled outside the Royal Court Theatre. Designed by local artist Dom Foster, the work was commissioned for the Historic England funded Heritage Action Zone King Street project. The piece takes spectators from "The Street That Was", to "The Street That Is" and finally "The Street That Will Be".
On closer inspection, passers-by will be able to spot notable figures, from Wigan Warriors' Billy Boston to The Verve's Richard Ashcroft as well as fancy dress donned revellers, typical of a Boxing Night on King Street. Speaking of the project and his work, Dom said, "It's been a total pleasure being given the chance to play a creative part in the regeneration of King Street. As a Wiganer myself, I have fond memories of gigs and the general cultural scene . I believe Wigan can go from strength to strength because Arts and Culture are being championed here as they are in the most vibrant towns and cities across Europe."
To find out more about the Heritage Action Zone project and what is planned for King Street, head to Wigan Council's newly launched website: sayhitokingstreethaz.commonplace.is
The site will provide people with an overview of the King Street project, including Streets Apart, as well as giving local residents the opportunity to submit their comments on the plans. Alongside research being produced by Wigan Local History & Heritage Society, residents will also be encouraged to provide their stories, memories and photographs of King Street in order to showcase a comprehensive journey of the area from over the years.
CTN & THE OLD COURTS CREATING JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR ARTISTS
The Collaborative Touring Network (CTN) is a national network lead by The Old Courts. Creating job opportunities for artists – currently on the lookout to find the next artists to show their work across the country. Video: Call out for artists (BSL) The Collaborative Touring Network (CTN) is a national network of producers working in areas of cultural deprivation who are dedicated to providing greater access to the arts. Established in 2013, the network is made up of a collective of eight organisations from across the country, including The Old Courts in Wigan, who work with artists and communities to make and tour life-affirming and perspective-changing shows as well as providing paid for opportunities for artists to show their work on a national scale. The Collaborative Touring Network includes Battersea Arts Centre (Wandsworth), The Old Courts (Wigan), Doorstep Arts (Torbay), Heads Up (Hull), Jumped Up Theatre (Peterborough), Looping the Loop (Thanet), Lyrici Arts (Medway) and Strike a Light (Gloucester). The network previously led by Battersea Arts Centre is now led by The Old Courts. Since its conception, the Collaborative Touring Network has toured the work of more than forty exceptional artists and companies to over a hundred thousand people nationally. CTN is a national project supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Between 2020 and 2023, £799,000 of funding from Arts Council England will support the CTN partners to build resilience and operate as a national, outward-facing network that empowers communities and revolutionises how touring work is developed with artists. Working on micro and macro levels; CTN seeks to create cultural change locally whilst working together nationally to diversify the way performance is made, seen and toured. Pete Massey, Director Yorkshire & The Humber, Arts Council England said: “As we emerge from the pandemic it is even more important than ever that everyone in our communities, regardless of where they live or their circumstances, has the chance to get involved with and experience great quality arts and culture on their doorstep. The Collaborative Touring Network will enable artists and communities to produce work together that will tour across the country and I’m delighted that we have been able to support it through our National Lottery funded Project Grants programme.” Over the next year, the Collaborative Touring Network is looking to work with an artist, a group of artists or a company to make and tour a live show. Through an open call out for expressions of interest, CTN want to work with artists interested in connecting with communities and in making a piece of live work that resonates with people and which moves them; to laughter, to tears, to dance, to action. The work will be developed and toured nationally between September 2021 and September 2022. Visit ctn.org.uk for information on how to apply, deadline Monday 5 July. Collaborating across our 8 towns and cities from the very start of a creative process; CTN is interested in how work developed in this way can better relate to its audiences and provide an alternative model of making and touring that shifts more power and resource into the hands of artists and communities Jonny Davenport, Artistic Director at The Old Courts said: “CTN is a particularly strong network of partners from around The UK. A lot of thought and experience has gone into shaping the project to what it is now, so I genuinely feel the call out presents a brilliant opportunity all round. The network is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the work is nationally significant and impactful for artists, audiences and communities.” Rosie Scudder, project director, said: “We believe touring live performance is most impactful when it is invited into places where community is already happening. We create local partnerships and put on shows in unlikely spaces: from car parks, to nightclubs, rooftops to community centres. Over the next 3 years, we want to support artists in both the making and touring of their work. Working with our communities, and as a network, we want to create and tour shows that resonate with the people of our places. For artists wanting to find out more or to apply for the call out, please visit the website ctn.org.uk and or contact me direct via email ” For more information and opportunities visit
STREETS APART PROGRAMME LAUNCH: REVIVING KING STREET
Borough cultural programmes bolstered by national investment Two three-year programmes bringing Wigan Borough to life through arts and culture have been made possible thanks to national funding. Today, Historic England announced £6m worth of funding for local communities across the country to create and deliver community-led cultural activities. The Old Courts, in partnership with nine borough-based organisations including Wigan Council, has secured £120,000 of the national fund to launch ‘Streets Apart’ – a three-year programme is committed to reviving the iconic King Street. The project will be bolstered by further investment from The Old Courts and the local authority. An additional £70,000 has also been secured for ‘For Tyldesley’, the group behind the Tyldelsey Heritage Action Zone programme. The money will be used to deliver activities within the local community over the same time period. Dave Jenkins, Managing Director of The Old Courts said: “A key aim for the Streets Apart project is to explore the way people feel about King Street now, to develop greater understanding about its past and to create a feeling of positivity about its future. Some of the key objectives of this new project include, encouraging young people, underrepresented groups and the wider community to play an active role in cultural heritage; to develop an enhanced sense of place and cultural identity on King Street; and to encourage new and sustainable cultural activity in the long term.” Led by The Old Courts, the Streets Apart consortium will consist of nine other organisations including the council, Wigan Little Theatre, Stolen Thread, SL Leisure, Wigan Building Preservation Trust, Wigan Youth Zone, Wigan Local History and Heritage Society and Healthy Arts, who will work together to achieve the shared aim of bringing world-class cultural experiences to King Street. Beginning in summer 2021, Streets Apart will commission artists, local creative partners and community groups to co-create unique multi-artform projects on King Street. Projects will include visual art, podcasts and street theatre and will culminate with a celebratory festival for the whole community to enjoy in 2023. Rosie Scudder, Streets Apart Producer said: “The cultural programme will unearth stories that bring King Street’s diverse histories to life and celebrate the rich assortment of past, present and future users of the high street. The programme, designed by the consortium, will include 7 commissions offered to artists based both nationally and within the Wigan and Leigh borough. We will also be working with 14-19 year olds from the borough in the design and delivery of this programme, with a plan to introduce a young member to the consortium within Year 1 of the programme.” For Tyldesley will work in partnership with the public and The Pelican Centre to deliver their programme of activity and have ambitions to create a community forum to ensure local voices can shape the events. Some suggestions already put forward include a digital heritage trail, kite festival, photography competitions and others. Ian Tomlinson, community engagement manager for Tyldesley Heritage Action Zone said: “The programme of events has been developed from ideas suggested by local residents and volunteers who are highly invested in the success of this initiative and will be supported by The Pelican Centre as our heritage and culture lead partner organisation. “We are also proud to announce that we have secured local artist, Vicky Tyrell, as our cultural programme producer to engage with the community about our plans.” Both programmes will support the wider Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) projects taking shape in Wigan and Tyldesley in order to encourage economic, social and cultural recovery. Around £3.5m will be invested across the two areas thanks to funding received from Historic England. The money will be used to refurbish a number of buildings on King Street, including The Royal Court Theatre, as well as reviving shop fronts in Tyldesley to encourage start-up businesses to take up new space. Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities and culture at Wigan Council said: “These are brilliant examples of how we’re continuing to reach the ambitions of our cultural manifesto, The Fire Within, which is all about making arts and culture accessible to the masses. “The projects will also support our wider Heritage Action Zone initiatives, which aim to retain the character of our town centre, conserve buildings and put them at the heart of our regeneration and growth plans. “This really is brilliant news for our borough.” On Wednesday 26 May, the King Street Heritage Action Zone website will launch and an eye-catching, iconic art installation outside of the Royal Court Theatre will be unveiled. The website will provide people with an overview of the King Street project, including Streets Apart, as well as giving local residents the opportunity to submit their comments on the plans. Residents will also be encouraged to provide their stories, memories and photographs of King Street in order to showcase a comprehensive journey of the area from over the years. For anyone wanting to find out more about the Street Apart project, visit or for information about the For Tyldesley scheme, please visit .
THE OLD COURTS CREATIVE OFFICES: NEW TENANTS ANNOUNCED
The Old Courts in the heart of Wigan helping businesses to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs. As the nation starts to move towards a phased return to work and life after the pandemic, The Old Courts have started to occupy their creative offices spaces in the heart of the town. Since the office spaces within the Victorian arts Centre were refurbished and open to let from March, they have started to fill fast with three tenants announced today who will join three existing ones. Northern Heart Films, Flexible Therapy and Gifts Beyond Words join existing tenants Static Records, Patrick Wilson Architect, and Tallula Vintage who were already based at The Old Courts pre-lockdown. Northern Heart Films is an award-winning film production company specialising in documentary storytelling. They have over a decade of experience producing films for Broadcast, Cinema, Charities and Campaigns. They are passionate about crafting emotional, human focused stories that stay with you long after the end credits have rolled. Flexible Therapy was set up by qualified Counsellor’s Jess and Carrie. They provide flexible counselling that suits individual circumstances. They offer a holistic approach. Both are also trained in creative therapy and offer services online, by phone, face-to-face and walk and talk. Gifts Beyond Words is an online Etsy business specialising in hand-made personalised prints for special occasions. Gifts Beyond Words have seen business boom during lockdown and the pandemic. After many years of collecting and enjoying records, Static Records decided to start selling them. All the vinyl they have has been played, cleaned and looked after…Some are new, most are old. Tallula Vintage is a creative designer using sustainable fabrics and vintage clothing. Patrick Wilson Architect are a dynamic RIBA Chartered Practice, passionate about exceptional design, with over 30 years' experience working within the UK’s construction industry. The team's knowledge and background varies from London and the North West’s residential and commercial markets to cultural and historic building projects throughout the UK. Their ambitious architectural background is complemented by practicality and versatility. Utilising a hands-on approach with on-site supervision to lead the design and construction teams ensures maximum value is delivered for each project. Natasha and Scott from Northern Heart Films said: ‘’We are really excited to be one of the first tenants in the Old Courts Studio space. Not only is The Old Courts such a beautiful building but it's within walking distance to the train station with amazing links to Manchester, London, and Preston which is a real benefit for our business. It is great to be in a space with other creative businesses with an added bonus of a bar, cafe, and theatre being on site. We are really looking forward to our future here and getting to know the team behind the building. " Samantha Lloyd, owner of Gifts Beyond Words said: “The new studios at The Old Courts have provided me with the ideal space to grow my new creative business. It’s offered me the opportunity to work alongside likeminded people and is conveniently located within the town centre." Patrick Wilson Founder of Patrick Wilson Architect said: “The Old Courts is a fantastic inspirational building and atmosphere to get any creative minds firing.” Adele Atherton, Founder of Tallula Vintage said: ‘’Moving into the courts was the best decision I have ever made. I had previously worked from home but being in the supportive, creative joy that is The Old Courts has helped me more than I can explain. My business is doing fantastically well, I feel part of a family and I have never been happier it’s a truly amazing place.’’ The Creative Office spaces within the stunning Victorian building are the ideal space for creative businesses, start-ups and freelancers from Wigan and surrounding areas who want to come together to help create a cultural quarter in the heart of the town. Rebecca Davenport – Director of Sales and Marketing at The Old Courts said: “Our new studio spaces were developed to provide a new home to a variety of brilliant creatives, charitable organisations and social enterprises. We like to think that being creatives ourselves that we have made the perfect spaces for our individuals and teams to thrive. As well as the practical facilities for our tenants including; meeting rooms, kitchenettes, a shower room, Wi-Fi and printers, we have purchased artwork from local artists to brighten up the communal areas and have also commissioned ‘Oh So Specials’ to produce 2 wall murals – which are just fabulous! We’ve already welcomed several really exciting tenants and have already seen collaborative working starting to happen. There’s a great vibe around the building and I’m excited to see what other tenants we might attract!” We have always dreamed of Wigan becoming a creative hub like the neighbouring cities of Manchester and Liverpool. We believe in the value of a creative ecology and in order to achieve that, there needs to be the infrastructure to support creatives working and residing in Wigan. Wigan has great transport links, excellent colleges and exciting cultural offers with more on the horizon such as the Wigan Pier redevelopment. We’re hoping that our creative studios will bring Wigan one step closer to having the complete package for creatives to live and work.” Nestled within this beautiful Victorian building, the spaces are flooded with light and on the doorstep of fantastic town centre amenities, including The Old Courts’ own cafe The Fork & Brush Arts Cafe and bar, Bailiff Bar). Those who take up the spaces will have their own private and secure office and will also be working in a hub amongst other creative businesses. The newly renovated office spaces range in size from 87sq ft to 268sq and are available to rent from as little as £39 per week.
What is included: · Hotdesking options available · Utilities (heating, electricity and water) · WIFI · Access to phonelines and onsite printers · Building insurance · Service charge · Kitchenette with free tea and coffee · Shower room · Additional rentable meeting and breakout rooms · Café and bar onsite · Office cleaning service available · Advertising opportunities within The Old Courts · Listings on The Old Courts website · Free/discounted tickets for selected events at The Old Courts · Excellent transport links · Low-cost parking options nearby · Flexible lease agreements – rolling month contracts to suit all needs. · A creative community perfect for small enterprises and freelancers looking to be part of a network. For anyone wanting more information or a viewing of the spaces post lockdown look visit the theoldcourts.com/hire, email or call 01942 834747.
HAVE YOUR SAY ABOUT WIGAN
Creative People and Places Have your say about Wigan: What is the best thing about your community and Wigan Borough? What kind of things would you like to have a go at? Has the Covid-19 pandemic changed your perspective on what you would like to do with your time? The Old Courts and our partners are reaching out with the vision of supporting YOU to shape the local arts and cultural provision. Your answers will feed directly into Wigan’s Creative People and Places application to Arts Council England. Have your say here on an application to Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places Fund. Background info: A consortium of cultural and community organisations from the borough led by The Old Courts and including The Turnpike, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Groundwork, Wigan Athletic Community Trust and the Council are working on an application to Arts Council England as part of their Creative People and Places Fund. With asks of up to £1m, the fund offers a fantastic opportunity for the borough, an offer that will be designed and delivered with and by local communities. To help shape the application we are seeking the views of our communities on what cultural activities are important to them now and what they would like to see in the future. Responses to the online questionnaire will feed directly into the application. The consultation will run from the 14-27 May. What is the survey for? The Old Courts and our partners are reaching out with the vision of supporting our local communities to shape the local arts and cultural provision. All answers will feed directly into Wigan’s Creative People and Places application to Arts Council England and into The Old Courts planning for the future!
WIGAN RADIO: A NEW ERA OF BROADCASTING
PARBOLD BASED SWATI DANCE COMPANY PERFORM NAVDURGA ON INTERNATIONAL DANCE DAY 2021
Ahead of International Dance Day 2021, we got in touch with Dr Swati Raut, Artistic Director of Swati Dance Company, a South Asian dance company based in Parbold. We wanted to find out more about their upcoming performance of NavDurga. Hi Dr Raut, thanks for taking time to speak to the people of Wigan about your dance company, Swati Dance, where you are Artistic Director. How did you get into dance yourself and what style of dance does the company focus on?
I have always danced for as long as I remember. A dance teacher Ammu Kutty would conduct dance classes at my school as a after school activity. I used to watch the class and finally persuaded my parents to let me join the class, that's when my love affair with Dance started. I graduated in Dance in 1979. Dance with a Company called 'Nrityashree" in Mumbai India, until I came to the UK in 1987. At Swati Dance we focus on Bharatanatyam, one of the most popular Classical Indian Dance Style. This International Dance Day, you’re putting on a performance of NavDurga. Can you tell us what the show is about?
'NavDurga' is a piece about the 9 forms/Avatars of the Goddess, who is an epitome of the WOMAN. She who is the beautiful wife or beloved, a dutiful daughter, a loving mother and who will fight evil, injustice (Demons) in times of distress. She in her very last avatar attains siddhi- the eternal knowledge. We have used a contemporary English poem as the opening act and traditional text for the other verses. How have you been able to produce NavDurga during the lockdown? We started work on it before the first lockdown and it seemed as if all would be fantastic as always, but then Lockdown happened. The work had to be divided into 2 parts, creation of the music and choreography of the Dance. We had Zoom meetings for the initial discussions with the musicians. Vijay Venkat, my composer, Composed the music and shared his ideas with the other musicians, who worked and reworked their sections to achieve the desired effect. All the tracks were recorded by the musicians in their own homes. Then these were sent to Bangalore where they were mixed and mastered. Suddenly, I would get a choreographic idea and then a short percussion duet was introduced. Both instruments kangira and mridungam played by the same artist, Prathap and then mixed. Viola and Flute are also played by Vijay Venkat and then the 2 tracks were mixed. For the dance, I had to choreograph each section then record the choreo and share it with the individual dancers. The most challenging was a rhythmic section at the start were all the avatars rise from the ground and dance together. I was so worried how they would synchronise but I was pleasantly surprised on the day of the recording. Each dancer had rehearsed by them selves in their own spaces on Zoom. This Online creation has been challenging to say the least but so very exciting. We couldn't have done it without the funding received from The Arts Council. Where can people find out more about Swati Dance Company’s upcoming shows and classes? Where can we watch NavDurga?
@SwatiDanceCompany Facebook Live on the 29th April at 6pm (UK TIME) Watch the trailer here:
MEET THE MAKERS: NOÉMIE COURANT LINOCUT ARTIST
In The Old Courts’ Meet-the-Maker series, we speak to artists, crafters & creative business owners to learn more about what they do and how they work.
Noémie Courant is a Linocut artist based in Brittany, France who previously spent time working in Wigan as part of the town twinning with Angers. Your hometown Angers, France is twinned with Wigan and you spent time working here in 2016/17. How was your experience? I’ve much loved my experience in Wigan and working for the twinning! My best memories are definitely the Francophonie Week (March 2017), Wigan Arts Festival and the Twinning exhibition organised with the Old Courts. I’ve received a very warm welcome from the community and it’s definitely been a once-in-a-lifetime experience! What is your background in art? I would say that I’m a self-taught artist, I have no background in art and I didn’t study it at school or university. However, I didn’t start from 0 as my dad is an artist, and I’ve probably learned many ‘’secret tips’’ and techniques through his work. All I know is that I’ve always loved drawing from a very young age. I always feel in a good mood when I do art and there’s always something new to learn, people to connect with and get inspiration from…all that is giving me some exciting perspectives! What attracted you to linocut? Everything! The colours, the technique, the tiny details you can get when carving you lino plate, the surprise you have once you make your first printing test etc. It’s a lot of fun to print your art from home : I use a very basic instrument that is the back of a large spoon as my best printing material ;) Linocut makes it very accessible for everybody to give it a go, the technique is very simple but requires a lot a patience. But it’s also very rewarding! What’s your workspace like? It’s a very basic workspace…just a desk and a small shelf where I store my material and equipment. Doing art is my second activity (I work full time as an employee) but many of my evenings are dedicated to linocut (lucky me, I’ve got a very patient husband…). The cool thing is that I’m currently renovating a house in Brittany and there will be a dedicated workspace for my linos. A nice studio next to a woodstove but also a garage that I could transform into an art gallery to exhibit my art. I’m super excited ! You recently posted a sketch of a linocut you’re working on inspired by Angers, does most of your inspiration come from your surroundings? I would say 50/50! 50% of my inspiration comes from the place where I now live, in Brittany while the other half comes from the place where I grew up and where my roots are (Angers and the Loire Valley). It’s important for me to get inspiration from both places in which I feel home. Landscapes and nature inspire me the most, marine life is also very graphic and inspirational.
What advice could you give to someone completely new to linocut? Don’t give up! I’ve spent the entire year testing anything that comes with lino (plates, inks, cutting material, paper, etc.). After a year of testing, I still haven’t found out what suits me best in terms of furniture. It takes a lot a time, paper is a good exemple : you could test 50 different papers and realise that there might be only 1 that works well with your art, so don’t give up and enjoy the process ;) We recently purchased a print of “Heaven of Anjou” and can’t wait to put it up on the walls of The Old Courts! Do you have a favourite piece? Me too ! I can’t wait to see a wee piece of your twin town on your walls! I would say that my favourite piece is ‘Planète Armorique’ in gold (but you don’t want to know how many hours I’ve spent carving my lino plate…) ;) Where can people find your work? I’ve got an etsy shop : Instagram And a Facebook page I’ve got lots of exciting projects at the moment, so stay tuned ;)
THE OLD COURTS PRESENTS DIGITAL FEST - STREAMING TO YOU 15-18 APRIL
The Old Courts presents Digital Fest – streaming comedy, film, music, and family events direct to audiences in the comfort and safety of their homes. Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 April 2021 The April digital fest includes an exclusively curated event for The Old Courts with BBC Radio 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins who is also a patron of the arts centre. Chris Hawkins will be in conversation with British Songwriter and broadcaster Tom Robinson. The in conversation follows a screening of the film White Riot - Rubika Shah’s award-winning and energising film that charts the story of a vital national protest movement, when a group of artists joined together to form Rock Against Racism in 1976. After a tough year in lockdown, audiences will be in much need of a good belly laugh and what better way than with Britain’s Got Talent Daliso Chaponda who is used to getting the nation laughing. For more laugh out loud comedy, The Old Courts have short bite sized Improv comedy sketches The Children of Captain Von Trapp Wish To Say Goodnight and Caroline Bay from Wigan based Casino Improv! Music lovers can get involved with Manchester-born singer-songwriter James Holt’s bandlab workshops. For those fed up with sitting still or for too long in their makeshift home offices, it is time to get up and vogue with Manchester’s dance and movement director Darren Pritchard. Keep the little ones entertained with family shows that encourage young minds aged 3 to 7 to become Curious Investigators or enjoy Dust - a joyous reminder about just how playful the world can be. The mix of film, comedy, music, dance, and family events have an accessible pricing structure with some events streaming for free and others using a ‘pay what you decide’ ticketing model suitable to all budgets. Film: White Riot (film) + Q&A with Chris Hawkins and Tom Robinson As part of the evening on Saturday 17 April from 7.30pm, audiences will be able to watch an exclusive recorded Q&A with BBC Radio 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins and Tom Robinson, one of the founders of the movement. This event has been specially curated for The Old Courts as part of the Digital Fest programme. Rubika Shah’s award-winning and energising film charts a vital national protest movement. Rock Against Racism (RAR) was formed in 1976, prompted by ‘music’s biggest colonialist’ Eric Clapton and his support of racist MP Enoch Powell.
White Riot blends fresh interviews with queasy archive footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches. As neo-Nazis recruited the nation’s youth, RAR’s multicultural punk and reggae gigs provided rallying points for resistance. As co-founder Red Saunders explains: ‘We peeled away the Union Jack to reveal the swastika’.
The campaign grew from Hoxton fanzine roots to 1978’s huge antifascist carnival in Victoria Park, featuring X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and of course The Clash, whose rock star charisma and gale-force conviction took RAR’s message to the masses. Comedy: Daliso Chaponda On Friday 16 April from 8pm, audiences can have a laugh with Daliso Chaponda who is a familiar TV personality best known for his stand up gigs on The Royal Variety Performance (ITV), Britain’s Got Talent 2017 (ITV), Britain’s Got Talent Champions 2019 (ITV), QI (BBC2), The Apprentice: You’re Fired (BBC2), Good Evening Britain (ITV), The News Quiz (BBC Radio 4) and The Now Show (BBC Radio 4). With over 300 million views of his stand up online, Daliso is also the writer, creator, and host of his Rose d’Or nominated BBC Radio 4 show Citizen of Nowhere that has aired for two series. He has performed around the world and at the Edinburgh, Melbourne, Singapore, and Cape Town comedy festivals. He has also toured the UK twice to sell out audiences and rave reviews. On the eve of his third tour Apocalypse Not Now, Daliso has created an exclusive set of his absolute Greatest Hits. This is an online show featuring witty, intelligent comedy and non-stop laughs. The Children Of Captain Von Trapp Wish To Say Goodnight From 9pm on Thursday 15 April Wigan’s Casino Improv are bringing their show to The Old Courts with a little bout of short form improv before their bedtime. Join others and virtually shout suggestions at them for this completely improvised games and scenes. Casino Improv present Caroline Bay: An Improvised Soap Opera For those who enjoyed the first dose of improv there’s a chance to come back and join Casino Improv for Caroline Bay on Sunday 18 April from 7.30pm. This is an improvised Soap opera performed via zoom. Music: James Holt Songwriting & Bandlab (Under 18's + Over 18's) These zoom workshop taking place on Thursday 15 April 5.30pm and 7:30pm with singer-songwriter James Holt is perfect for budding musicians who want to have a go at recording a song and bring their music ideas to life. Confirmed as a main stage artist for a sold-out Kendal Calling later this year and long championed by music industry giants, such as legendary producer Brian Eno - James is a Manchester born, gifted songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Dance: Beginner's vogueing workshop with Darren Pritchard Manchester’s Darren Pritchard is known in the industry for his dance and movement body or work. His workshop on Saturday 17 April, 4pm is a practical introduction to Vogue. It takes a playful approach to drawing an association between fashion portraiture and the hyper-stylised form of dance commonly termed as ‘vogue’ or ‘voguing’. Made popular in mainstream channels by the likes of Madonna (“Strike a pose!”) and the classic documentary Paris is Burning (1990), voguing is characterised by model-like poses integrated with angular, linear and rigid arm, leg and body movements. Family: Curious Investigators (age 4-7) This is a brand-new LIVE Zoom where families can meet ‘Investigator Toni’, who’s stuck at home with nowhere to go - but is still determined to discover something amazing. She needs the help of young inquisitive minds to solve a problem. Families can enjoy this show on Friday 16 April, 10am, 12pm and 2.30pm from the comfort of their homes, all they need is a laptop, phone or tablet with Zoom enabled; a few bits and pieces from the recycling bin; and a helpful adult. It’s the perfect show for children ages 4-7 who ask a lot of questions! DUST - A joyous reminder about just how playful the world can be (age 4-9) On Saturday 17 April at 9am families with young children are invited to take a front row seat with this digital production of Dust, recorded live at Half Moon Theatre in London. When Little Titch and her scruffy rucksack arrive at the giant, pink house it is not what she expected - a blanket of thick grey dust covers everything in sight, and it is wild and overgrown. Her new home is cold and unwelcoming until she meets Nelly, a flamboyant and loveable hoarder. Together the pair discover they have more in common than they first thought, and that friendship can heal hidden wounds. Written by acclaimed award-winning children’s author Laura Dockrill (Darcy Burdock book series, Big Bones) Dust uses exquisite poetic language to explore a heartfelt story about love, loss, identity, and memory. With haunting music by Hugo White of The Maccabees, this striking and emotional new play is a joyous reminder about just how playful the world can be. Dust is a Half Moon and Z-arts co-production: an exciting collaboration by the UK’s leading small-scale young people’s venue and touring company and Manchester’s unique and award-winning venue for children and families. This live-recorded play has closed captioning for d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences and is also available with British Sign Language. Emma Lloyd, Head of Programming said: “This festival was curated to promote the spirit of The Old Courts as we haven’t let a pandemic stop or slow us down. This long weekend of events also acts as a teaser to get people excited for our reopening happening soon! The Old Courts could not have put this programme of events together without the support of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). We are grateful for all the support we have received from GMCA, Wigan Council, Arts Council England, DCMS and the public.” For more information and to book tickets visit
THE OLD COURTS TO RECEIVE SUPPORT FROM 2ND ROUND OF THE GOVERNMENT'S CULTURE RECOVERY FUND
The Old Courts to receive £394,872 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund The Old Courts among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. The Old Courts in Wigan has received a grant of £394,872 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen. More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including The Old Courts in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today. The Old Courts (AATM) is an organisation focussed on supporting inclusive and unparalleled access to arts, culture and heritage activity in Wigan. Our aim is to play a strategic role in both infrastructural development and ensuring quality and equality of provision. Pre-pandemic the organisation had an income model that was heavily weighted towards generated income with 87% of revenue earned through trading activity such as ticket sales, hires, weddings, café and bar sales. This reduced to less than 3% from March 2020. The funding obtained through the Cultural Recovery Fund has allowed the organisation to meet the significant overheads of our large heritage spaces and ensure that the team can continue to invest in the sector through. Our digital programmes continue to drive forward the changes needed to ensure we are able to be ready to play our role in the recovery by championing the role that arts and culture play in the wellbeing of our communities. Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead. Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead." David Jenkins, The Old Courts Managing Director said: “Without the support of the Cultural Recovery Fund, it is unlikely that the organisation could have navigated its way through the pandemic which has caused in excess of £2.5m (98%) of earned revenue losses. The fund has allowed us not only to survive, but to ensure that the organisation is ready and able to respond to the current and future challenges. As we move into the recovery period, thankfully we are ready to be there for our communities to support their needs. We have met the challenges head on and with the CRF support we have continued with a programme of digital activity investing in over 470 Artists through a programme of multi-artform events and maintained participation activity through digital channels. We have responded to the needs of our communities through direct support for community members with welfare phonelines (over 1000 Calls), food deliveries and 10,000 school meals. We have been there for our creative practitioners and organisations ensuring that the sector as a whole is supported so that we can come back from this period with a collaborative and unified vision to give Wigan the best that we can achieve collectively. I am humbled and in awe of our team. As a not-for-profit organisation in ‘normal’ times, we re-invest our profit and time into our community, arts and culture – During Covid, the support of the CRF programme has enabled us to adapt to the challenges and meet the needs of our community with innovative operations ensuring that we are at the heart of the community. We feel this demonstrates the vital role that cultural organisations can play as part of community life. Throughout the recovery period we are here to help the local sector recover and to support other organisations, freelancers and artists. We believe we can all come back stronger than before.” Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.” The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.
MOVING ROOTS TOURING NETWORK ARE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR CO-CREATED LIVE SHOWS
The Moving Roots Touring Network are on the lookout for pre-existing co-created live shows. The Moving Roots Touring Network are looking for pre existing co-created live shows that could be re-created with people in Wigan, Peterborough, East Cardiff and Medway. We define co-created shows as an artist working with a group of people who are not necessarily (but could be) professional artists to re-create a show about the stories, hopes and wants of the people it represents. Moving Roots is a collective of arts organisations; Battersea Arts Centre, Lyrici Arts, Common Wealth, The Old Courts and Jumped Up Theatre, from across the UK (London, Medway, Cardiff, Wigan and Peterborough.) Moving Roots wants to make social change through co-creation WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR We want to work with an artist or company from approximately September 2021 to August 2022 to prepare, develop, make and present the shows in Medway, Cardiff, Peterborough and Wigan. We could be flexible about these dates. There is up to £100k for this work. We are looking for a show that: Has been done before Could be re-created with four different communities across the UK Creates social change Is artistically excellent and exciting Is important to working-class people (or communities) and people who don’t usually get to participate in the arts Brings joy and change We are looking for artists: Who have similar lived experiences to people in Wigan, Peterborough, East Cardiff and Medway Who are open and excited about adapting their work Who will be flexible and respond to people’s changing needs and to changing condition This year’s show is Rent Party by Darren Pritchard; A performance party inspired by the traditions of the Harlem Renaissance Rent Parties, re-created by local artists in Wigan, Medway, East Cardiff and Peterborough.
“Being broke never looked so fierce” ***** The Stage If you’re interested in this project and feel like your work matches what we’re looking for, we’d love to hear from you. EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST If you have any questions about the project or or if you need any support or have any questions about the expression of interest, please get in touch with Jess who manages Moving Roots for The Old Courts on . Deadline for Expressions of Interest is 26 April, 10am. We will invite a shortlist of applicants for conversations with the project partners between 3 – 24 May and aim to have made a final decision by Mon 7 June.