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Two companies selected for Bridging the Gap on Tour 2019

ARC are pleased to announce that the two companies selected for the Bridging the Gap on Tour in 2019 are Gracefool Collective's This is Not a Wedding, and Matthew Bellwood's Terror from the Skies.

Bridging the Gap on Tour offered two ready-made three week tours in September 2019 and, following an open call, received a large number of high quality applications.

Feminist, forthright, and fiercely funny, Leeds based Gracefool Collective make wildly entertaining contemporary theatre about the absurdities of modern existence.

This is Not a Wedding captures the pressure of coming of age in a celebration event like no other. Four bridal-clad women determinedly offer new versions of long standing traditions. Over one hour, they embark on acts of anarchy, including a sexy version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D and an apocalyptic karaoke sermon featuring Edith Piaf. They roll down the aisle in a ball, perform a robotic march to Taking Head’s Road to Nowhere and make existential speeches questioning the meaning of life.

Matthew Bellwood is a Leeds based writer and storyteller who produces theatre, live art, performances and community engagement projects.

Terror from the Skies is set in a graveyard in a city in the north of England on a hot summer’s day. While two friends spend time together wandering between the gravestones, a mother and her daughter hunt for the resting place of a famous wartime musician. As a light aircraft flies overhead none of them are aware of the terror lurking in the sky above.

A solo storytelling show that questions the impact of big business capitalism on local communities, while asking questions about the other myths that unite and divide people in the shared spaces where they live.

Kate Cox from Gracefool Collective, one of the selected companies, said:

"We are absolutely thrilled to be offered Bridging the Gap, it's a massive deal to us at this stage in our career when we are starting to gain momentum and interest in our work but still need support to reach new audiences and locations. We are really proud to be based in the North, and we want to find new ways to get our work out beyond the traditional theatre and dance audiences across the North, and Bridging the Gap will give us the invaluable opportunity to do that."

Bridging the Gap was a project developed by ARC, originally in conjunction with Newcastle Theatre Royal and The Maltings, designed to contribute towards the creation and presentation of new theatre work within the North East region.
The venues worked together to offer a joint package of in-kind support to enable North East based artists/theatre companies to develop and present new pieces of work across the venues. Over the years the scheme expanded

to include other North East venues, and in 2018, it expanded to Yorkshire taking in York Theatre Royal.

As the theatre ecology in the North East and beyond has developed, it has become easier for artists to access support in kind – but harder to get their work programmed. In recognition of this, Bridging the Gap has shifted the emphasis away from supporting the creation of the work, to focus on the opportunities Bridging the Gap can offer to artists and companies to present their work.

Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of ARC, said:

“North East and Yorkshire venues are working together to make it easier for companies to tour. We know how long artists spend, usually unpaid, trying to secure tour dates, and by working together and proactively inviting artists to apply for a ready-made tour, we are saving them both time and effort. It also allows programmers to influence the work available to their audiences, as we are selecting shows either before or during the making process, and helping artists demonstrate the need and demand for their work to funders.”