Rural Touring

More plus

What is Rural Touring?

Rural touring is about more than just performances... it plays an important part in the social life of small communities, it involves people of all ages and backgrounds, it can be a catalyst for community development

Only Connect Report by Francois Matarasso

We believe people living outside cities and large towns should have access to the best live arts experiences at an affordable price. That's why we started the Take Art Rural Touring scheme, which has been successfully serving the villages, towns and communities of Somerset since 1987.

The Rural Touring service is a very well-established and successful scheme for Somerset with an exemplary track record, set up to bring professional, high quality music, theatre, dance and performance to local venues and communities across Somerset.

It relies on the partnership between local volunteer promoters and Take Art - by working together, memorable social events are organised in rural areas where people live and meet. These events can help play a vital role in keeping villages alive and vibrant, strengthening communities and improving health and wellbeing. The Take Art Rural Touring team have years of expertise to share with promoters.

Meet the Team

Sarah Peterkin 

Director of Rural Touring & Theatre 

She is available to speak to on 01460 249450 or by email

Ruth Copping

Rural Touring Administrator 

She is available to speak to on 01460 249450 or by email

Louise Monks 

Marketing and Comms Manager

She is available to speak to on 01460 249450 or by email


The Take Art Effect

Take Art has been busy this decade. Here are some of our achievements in Somerset:

  • We have put on 872 performances
  • We have worked with 5567 volunteers, helping 180 communities put on performances in their village halls
  • Our audiences numbers run to over 65,000 people, mainly from rural communities
  • We have paid artists and theatre companies over £300,000 to bring and make work in Somerset

When are the shows and how do I see them?

You can book tickets either online or by calling the local promoter. It is advisable to call direct to check ticket prices and get info about refreshments, access, disabled parking facilities etc. Many halls run a bar, sell refreshments, or even offer a meal at the event but you may wish to check in advance. Whatever the arrangements, you will be guaranteed a warm welcome, a friendly atmosphere and a memorable experience.

You can opt to receive email alerts about upcoming shows via either email or post through our mailing list. For a large print version of the Take Art programme please contact 01460 249450.

Fine Chisel, Neither There Nor Here. Photo by Paul Blakemore


  • ProjectRural Touring Dance Initiative

    The Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) brings exciting and innovative dance theatre and dance performance to rural locations, using the established rural touring schemes to help make this happen successfully. 2015 - present.

    More info
  • ProjectLocomotor

    Locomotor funded by the Arts Council’s Strategic Touring fund, is a three-strand project run by Carn to Cove in Cornwall. The second strand, of which we are partners, involves all the touring schemes in the South West and supports them to present more diverse international work of different cultures within local community settings.

    More info
  • ProjectSPARSE

    SPARSE is a partnership between seven European countries, all working together to formalise a pan European Rural Touring Network. Currently, with the exception of the UK, a rural touring network does not exist within much of Europe - SPARSE is all about sharing the UK model and experience to help build international rural touring networks.

    More info