Broken Spectacles, in Partnership with Dartington Arts, have been successful in securing a large European Funding bid with 4 other companies from Italy, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia. RIOTE – “Rural Inclusive Outdoor Theatre Education” is a one year project which will enable the companies to visit each other and learn from their approach to outdoor and rural theatre.

Helen Aldrich, director of Broken Spectacles said, “We’re very excited about this. It’s a great opportunity to showcase each other’s work across Europe and bring high-quality performance to rural areas. It is also wonderful to be able to develop performance skills for our new show.”

Amy Bere, general manager of Dartington Arts added, “We’re committed to supporting rural communities and the arts and really value the chance to collaborate with wonderful theatre companies across Europe.”

The Italian partner, Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo visited Dartington and Beaford Arts in November to learn about the UK Rural Touring Network. Originally, a scheme set up by the Elmhirsts to enable artists to perform in Devon, it has since flourished into a nationwide initiative. The aim is that everyone should have access to high-quality artistic experiences, regardless of location. It takes theatre to remote communities with the help of local people. The UK is one of the only countries in Europe to have such a strong scheme.         

The theatre companies involved have often worked with the concept of a ‘barter’, where there is an exchange between professional artists and local people who offer their own folk songs, local history, local cuisine or other skills particular to the community.

Broken Spectacles will be developing their new show ‘At Sea’, through this project, a fast-paced, poetic and humorous, physical theatre show that follows a woman through the ups and downs of family life and the world of work. It raises the question of what we do with the emotional complexities of being a mother; what we long for and what we keep hidden away. In June 2017, with all the European companies, we will be performing our work on the Dartington Estate.

We are looking to find host families for the European companies. If you would like to have an artist to stay for 3-4 days in June please contact us at:

%d bloggers like this: