Image of lots of all the people who are taking part in the Touring Network's residency programme. Robert, from Birds of Paradise, is present, as is Heather, who BOP are supporting through this initiative.
After doing a public call out for artists who identify as disabled (click here for our definition) Heather Marshall from Creative Electric was selected to work with Birds of Paradise and Argyll Arts Collective on BRAW – an initiative from The Touring Network. The aim of BRAW is for artists, theatre companies and rural promoters to look at how we can make theatre that appeals to rural communities in Scotland. Since the project began Heather has visited Lochgoilhead twice, one three-day visit and then a second week-long adventure where Heather and some artists she works with went and explored the surrounding areas of the Faslane Peace Camp, Helensburgh and Loch Lomond. During these research trips Heather attended the Lochgoilhead Gala Day, held a story exchange, danced at the village ceilidh and spent a lot of time getting to know the locals and the residents of the nearby Holiday Village.

A poster for the event. It is a painted backdrop of blue mountains, with a caravan in the foreground. In big letters at the top it reads: '--- is where the heart is.'

Heather now has a large collection of stories and, with a group of performers, over the coming months will begin to devise the best way of telling these stories – using spoken word, storytelling and physical theatre. The work – “_____ is where the heart is” – considers the similarities of handfastings and the direct action protest method of a lock on, that Heather learned about at Faslane. The work will look at both local and global politics and will represent the diverse communities that are part of Argyle: from those born and bred, commuters, holidaymakers, protestors and teenagers from the villages who are sent away to school throughout the year. It will also have a strong focus on the impact of environment upon a persons mental health – looking at the positives of village life and the community that comes with it.

“_____ is where the heart is” will be available for touring across Scotland in spring 2019.

(the _____ will be filled in with the name of the place name where the performance is happening)
More information about this beautiful and thoughtful performance will be added in the coming months.
To register your interest in programming in a performance of the show please email
Images below from a development performance of the show at Hidden Door, Edinburgh

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BOP Artists (Rural) – Connecting Creative Communities Artist Callout

BOP Artists (Rural) is part of Connecting Creative Communities, a project which will investigate the relationship between promoter, artist and community.   Over a two year period the project will explore new ways for artists, promoters and communities to work together to make tours which resonate with and are relevant to Highland communities.

CCC is being run by The Touring Network who have partnered with BOP and two other companies. BOP are looking for a theatre maker or performance artist who identifies as disabled to work with us on this rural project.  The artist will explore relevance and impact, and then connect with communities to explore places and stories sharing prototypes of their work as they make it.

We are working with The Touring Network to look at how we can make theatre that appeals to rural communities in Scotland. The successful artist with work within a remote community in Scotland, researching the needs of that group of people and developing a piece of theatre that will best respond to those needs and desires. BOP will support the artist in a number of ways. As a second stage it is then intended that the finished work will tour rural communities around the country – the specifics of this will depend on the nature of the work that is developed as this will determine likely costs/resource implications/etc.

What is expected from the artist (with support from BOP)?

Stage 1

  • to attend the initial project residential at Cove Park (11-14th January 2018)
  • to attend workshops in promoter communities (led by Lisa Baxter) dates tbc (Feb – March 2018)
  • to co-create a new piece of work in the selected community/ies
  • to work with the animateur in a collaborative manner
  • to present 2 prototype sharing opportunities with communities (May 2018 and July/August 2018)
  • To present a work in progress at the showcasing (Sept 2018 Gathering)
  • to be open to sharing and collaborating with the public
  • to present their experiences at a symposium which will be held at the Gathering (2019) venue tbc
  • to input into the evaluation process
  • to agree that the evaluation will be open and available to the sector and the wider public

Stage 2

  • to perform a tour of the new work (May – September 2019) to a minimum of 4 venues in the Highlands and Islands region

What can the artist expect?

Stage 1

  • a budget to support you to attend the initial residential and to develop relationships in promoter venues / communities
  • a travel and accommodation budget
  • assistance from TTN and BOP to develop relationships between with promoters and communities and an ongoing audience engagement programme for the new work (animateur)
  • a platform for showing new work in progress (Gathering 2018)
  • a platform to share the results of the project (Gathering 2019)

Stage 2

  • an appropriate budget to create the final production – this will depend on the nature of the work but is likely to be in the range of £5,000 to £10,000.
  • a commitment to touring the new work in Highlands and Islands (a guarantee of 4 shows minimum)
  • publicity for the show within the network and the other rural schemes in Scotland to facilitate further opportunities to present the work

Am I eligible to apply?

To apply for this opportunity you must;

How can I apply?

Please send us a CV giving details of your work as an artist and outlining the work you have created along with a 500 word statement outlining why you want the opportunity to work within a rural community. Applications can be made as Word/PDF documents, audio recordings or video recordings (especially for BSL users) – if another format would be more accessible to you then please get in touch to discuss this. Applications should be sent to by 15th December 2017.

Can I get support with applying? What if I have other questions?

We will support applicants who face barriers in applying for this opportunity due to their impairments in whatever reasonable ways that we can. This might include dictating applications, BSL support or other methods. Our capacity to meet all requests for such support may be limited but we will do what we can. Questions about this process can be sent to