A touring arts scheme that brings live performances to rural locations is calling for support as it celebrates its 25th anniversaty.

The Thirsk-based Rural Arts' On Tour scheme brings theatre and the arts to village halls across North Yorkshire and the Tees Valley.

2022 marks the scheme’s 25th anniversary and On Tour manager Natasha Glew, has issued a rallying call for people to support the events.

She said: “The last few years have been difficult – and we know some challenges aren’t going away – but we’re asking everyone who’s able to think about getting out to support live performance in their village halls.

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"Without your support, the scheme may struggle in future years – and these villages will certainly be a less vibrant place to live.”

Research demonstrates that having access to culture improves wellbeing, community cohesion and social connections.

This is particularly true for people in rural villages, where isolation can be exacerbated by poor transport links, infrastructure and dwindling public services and amenities like pubs and shops.

Dave Gaskill, a volunteer promoter, said: "Theatrical shows, comedy performances and music nights all help bring communities together in an enjoyable way."

On Tour is delivered across the region by dozens of volunteers, who programme, promote and manage the performance on the night on behalf of their community venue.

From September 3, 52 performances will take place across over 30 venues.

These include the dynamic Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, one-woman circus show Power and award-winning children’s performance from Storycraft Theatre.

There will be music from Edwina Hayes as well as folk and Flamenco duo Skinner and T’witch.

While comedy theatre is represented in who-done-it The Killer Question and spoken-word How To Be A Better Human.

A brand-new production of Cinderella will wrap up the season for families at Christmas.

To see the full season of performances and book online, visit the Rural Arts website.

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