Outdoor Performance Days

Outdoor Performance Days

Somerset, England

To support villages  to come together to enjoy social and cultural interaction Take Art created a working party consisting of local village volunteer promoters and local artists to explore the possibility. Any programme had to take into consideration the government Covid-19 guidelines.

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Anyone within the community

Overall aim

The aims of the project were to return live performances to rural communities, outside of conventional rural touring. Further, it wanted to enable local people to re-engage with socializing again, post lockdown. Lastly, the initiative intended to aid business recovery to Somerset performers and to enable local artists to present their work to local audiences

Brief description

As a result a total of 18 outdoor performances were arranged with 10 enthusiastic villages to take place while the weather was still a little bit summery! These villages were scattered across Somerset in the villages of Curry Mallet, Norton Sub Hamdon, Hatch Beauchamp, Churchinford, Lamyatt, Goathurst, Holford, Langport, Roadwater, and Dulverton.

The performances took place from mid August to mid September and required a lot of work, communication and commitment from Take Art, the villages and the local artists. The cultural performances included opera, puppetry, dance, storytelling and theatre. Some artists brought their own outside stage and others used outside tables to create a stage. Sometimes it rained and sometimes it did not! Some took place in the day and some in the evening with lighting. Most performances were for family group audiences and some performances were repeated to fit with government guidelines on audience numbers.


The replicability aspect is for local authorities, or organisations, to ensure local food production while supporting vulnerable societal groups. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of sales have moved online which has sometimes caused exclusion, especially for the elderly. The Mobile Market provides a function that can be accessible for everyone and at the same time remain affordable.

With the help of creative and inventive initiative takers, this can be a brilliant way to bring village communities together. Social distancing restrictions may even allow local artists to gain a greater appreciation and therethrough, lead to a regeneration of the local art scene and provide a catalyst for creative grassroots projects where the outcome might be a social meeting place for locals which creates a sense of belonging and pride within the rural communities.

Cross-cutting themes

Cultural & Natural HeritageSocial innovation