The Errant Stage is a new mobile performance venue in a van, it offers affordable
space for artists and accessible theatre for the masses; sounds cute eh? Yeah, that’s what I thought too, that’s why I’m here, telling you about it!
The travelling venue, a big red van, is off exploring the West for an affordable
and sustainable future of the performing arts.
”An initiative like this, which places accessibility and sustainability at its core,
nurturing new talent and enabling artists to tour their work successfully, merits all the
support the UK theatre sector can give it.” -Simon Hart, Puppet Animation Scotland.
This alternative, professional platform launched at the beginning of August and is
currently crowdfunding to raise enough money to complete the conversion to an
eco-friendly venue and get on the road. The stage has been created to offer artists an
affordable space to perform and create work, whilst allowing new audiences access to a quality of performance they may not have seen before.
The girls at the Errant Stage want to provide affordable performance space for artists, and accessible theatre for the masses; from puppetry to performance art. What with Arts funding cuts greatly affecting the amount of new performances, the restrictive cost of venue hire and production for emerging companies, it’s a fresh and exciting project.
The alternative off-grid travelling stage has an audience capacity of 20+ inside, creating a
“welcoming and accessible,” “magical” and “wonderfully intimate” performance space.
For larger shows and spectacles the van can swing open it’s doors and serve an unlimited outside audience. The venue offers artists an affordable professional platform to perform their work in front of an audience, whilst enabling that audience to be anyone, anywhere.
“Theatre and the arts is more than just an industry; It is a community. A
community that we want to continue growing, to keep putting new work in front of
new audiences. A community that is fuelled by passion and belief that the arts and
performance are essential to our human connections with each other and the world
around us; The Errant is our contribution to that,” said Wiltshire’s Kate Powell, and with Jonna Nummela from Helsinki, has had this vision for an alternative performance venue since they first met in drama school in 2011.
The pair lived together on a canal boat in London. Then, when Kate bought the van from Kilter Theatre in January 2017, and The Errant Stage concept began to take physical form, she quickly joined forces. Growing increasingly frustrated with the current restrictive funding climate, Nummela jumped on the chance to make space for artists and their audiences through a more accessible venue.
“The Errant Stage is our vision for the future of the performing arts. It is a
future of empathy and community instead of egoism and competitive industry,” Kate continued.
Support for the van is already evident, the team launched their crowdfunding
campaign and has raised over 40% from 70+ backers in the first three weeks. The
Indiegogo campaign is looking to raise funds to enable ongoing maintenance and further conversion of the van into a more accessible and sustainable venue and will continue until the 21st October, 2017.
Work started on the van back in January with structural repairs and insulation; Now attention turns to the inside of the van and its transformation into a multi-use performance space with high quality technical resources and a new, lighter stage design. They’re also researching sustainable power sources, from solar to wind, aiming to make The Errant Stage a trailblazer of sustainable off-grid venues.
The Errant Stage embarked on it’s maiden voyage when it was invited to the Ventnor
Fringe Festival (www.vfringe.co.uk) on the Isle of Wight in August 2017. Following the
success of this soft launch, the venue continued to travel the UK, hosting performances and scratch events at Puppet Place’s Bristol Festival of Puppetry and Skipton International Puppet Festival.
With interest and return invites from various puppet and theatre festivals across the
UK in 2018, including new Moving Parts puppet festival in Newcastle and Manipulate
Festival in Scotland, it’s looking to be a busy and successful first season for The Errant
Support the Errant Stage’s Crowdfunding campaign, running from 8th September – 21st October 2017. https://igg.me/at/errant-stage-fundraiser
Next appearing at:
– Isle of Wight 23rd-28th October 2017, tour collaboration with Ventnor Exchange and
Isle of Wight Museums.