Exciting news!

The University of Nottingham and New Perspectives Theatre Company Receive AHRC Funding For Collaborative Doctoral Award Researching New Forms Of Theatre For Rural Touring. 

New Perspectives Theatre Company’s Associate Director Tilly Branson has successfully been awarded funding by The University of Nottingham as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Collaborative Doctoral Awards for her to complete a PhD Research project.

The research project, entitled ‘Re-imaging the Rural Tour: New Forms For New Audiences’, is a collaborative project in which the School of English Studies at the University of Nottingham and New Perspectives Theatre Company, the leading rural touring company in the East Midlands, will work together to investigate, pilot and share innovative models of making theatre for rural audiences with the aim of building new communities of spectatorship and engagement.

Tilly completed a Masters in Theatre Research at The University of Nottingham in 2009, and shortly afterwards began a working relationship with New Perspectives.  After working with Artistic Director Daniel Buckroyd as Assistant Director on their critically acclaimed production of Those Magnificent Men she was later offered the position as Associate Director, leading for the company on talent development and audience engagement; delivering opportunities for emerging artists in the region and new strategies for engaging with audiences.

Dr Jo Robinson Director of Teaching and Associate Professor in Drama and Performance commented:.

Tilly already has a strong relationship with both partners involved in the Collaborative Doctoral Award. Her Mres topic Contextual Dramaturgy: providing theatre audiences with opportunities for active engagement’ which she successfully completed at Nottingham and her freelance work for New Perspectives provides a fantastic foundation for this project. Her experience of working on a wide range of experimental theatrical forms, both in the UK and in Canada, means that she is ideally placed to deliver the innovative performance work which is central to this Collaborative Doctoral Award.

New Perspectives are sector leaders for Engagement and Talent Development and this collaborative project offers the company, for the first time, the opportunity to put high quality research into new ways of making work with and for rural audiences at the heart of its development processes. The project will have a direct impact on the future programming policy of the company, with the work produced offered as part of New Perspectives’ programme, and audiences taken on a journey which challenges what they expect from theatre in their community.

Out-going Artistic Director Daniel Buckroyd is thrilled at the news:

 Tilly has a proven aptitude for both research and practice; she is resourceful, committed and articulate, with not only a high degree of expertise but also the skills necessary for building and extending relationships as well as unearthing ideas and material in this field. New Perspectives is delighted to be able to work together with the University of Nottingham to support Tilly with this project. 

The project will officially begin in October, with a completion date for 2015.

Some great feedback on my recent work

I’ve been incredibly busy in recent months, particularly with two big directing projects. The first was Goldfish for New Perspectives – a piece exploring memory which combined the winning and running-up scripts from the DREAM UP script-writing competition.

New Perspectives Goldfish poster

The show did a 4-date mini-tour of East Midlands venues including arts centres and rural village halls; and was incredibly well-received every night. We had a lovely feedback from audiences, including a great audience review: ‘an intelligent and intriguing production… a feat which shows Branson as a promising director with her hands securely on the helm‘. Read the full review here.

The second show I’ve been directing is End to End with The Gramophones – the true story of a journey from Lands End to John O Groats.

The Gramophones End to End poster

End to End is currently part of Buxton Fringe, and will be heading up to Edinburgh in August, after an Edinburgh preview at Lakeside Arts Centre on Saturday 4th August. This week we were at the fabulous Create Theatre in Mansfield as part of the Mansfield Arts Festival, and we had lovely feedback from our audiences in person, and on facebook and twitter. We had a brilliant review on the Buxton Fringe website: ‘truly sensational… pitched perfectly… brought to life with a real sense of energy and vibrancy‘. Click here to read the full review.